CROSS COUNTRY OUTLOOK: Area teams bring optimism into new season


By CHIP CIRILLO

Franklin’s boys cross country team is optimistic after earning a spot in the Class AAA meet for the first time since the early 2000s in 2016.

“We are looking forward to a great season,” said Rebels third-year coach Cormac Carolan, who won two state team titles and had seven individual state champions in Georgia before arriving at Franklin. “Our teams have progressed well over the last couple of years and this should be our best season since I started at FHS.”

Junior Matthew Young, junior Max Zani, senior Alex Disney and senior Roman Toscano form the core for the Rebels.

FRANKLIN GIRLS

Seniors Mikayla Prince, Alexa Henderson and Carolina Vilomar and junior Whitney Bryant should lead the way for Franklin, coming off a strong showing in the Region 6-AAA meet last year.

INDEPENDENCE BOYS

Senior A.J. Hendry (16:47 personal record) and juniors Isaac (17:20) and Keegan Reimer (17:23) are back after Independence finished 11th in the Class AAA meet and second in Region 6-AAA last year.

Independence will miss Meyer Makemson (Murray State freshman), Harold LaCroix (Alabama-Huntsville) and Jake Reznicek (Milligan).

“The entire district (11-AAA) is very tough, and the addition of a really good Page team makes it even tougher,” said Eagles 10th-year coach Luke Finley.

CENTENNIAL BOYS

Davis Bove, Centennial’s only Class AAA qualifier last season, returns.

He won the Sharp Springs Invitational in 2016 and his personal record is 15:54.

The Cougars finished fifth at the Region 6-AAA meet last year.

Centennial will rely on sophomore Alec Beaman (17:52 PR), senior Nick Hadley (18:25) and senior Christian Garcia (18:39).

Newcomers Brent Dassow and Mitch Pietre should give the Cougars a lift.

“Excited to continue the CHS legacy,” first-year coach Marcya Bove said. “I’m looking forward to watching our athletes continue to grow and get stronger.”

CENTENNIAL GIRLS

Junior Claudia Dassow (20:40), sophomore Kathryne Hirt (21:30) and sophomore Gabby Stoneking (21:59) figure to be Centennial’s top runners.

The Lady Cougars took sixth at the Region 6-AAA meet last year.

Newcomers Ally Medvid, Jayden Stewart and Katelyn Darnell may make an impact.

BATTLE GROUND ACADEMY BOYS

Seniors Grady Roddy, Henry Dambach and Max Dambach and junior Ian McCullough should lead the way for BGA, which finished eighth at the Division II-A meet last season.

BATTLE GROUND ACADEMY GIRLS

BGA will rely on senior Katie Baier and sophomore Katelyn Helberg.

*Note: Teams missing from this year’s preview didn’t submit a questionnaire to participate

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