This Saturday, September 3rd the cross country team kicks off their season at the Palmetto State Festival at Columbia International University.
The boys team is led by junior captain Jake Mueller, senior captain Hayden Spencer, and junior Zack Kochert. Other boys varsity members include senior Hayden Tuten, junior Ward Keith, sophomore Silas Arendash, and freshman Tyler Smith.
Mueller is slotted to come in first place in the meet preview with Kochert predicted to come in second. Spencer has shown great improvement throughout the summer and is looking to improve upon his 2015 season, expect him to contend for the top 3 places. Tuten and Keith look to round out a strong top five boys with top fifteen performances. Senior Vihar Dalal and 7th grader Matthew Thiret will look to lead the JV squad at the season opener.
The boys team enters the meet predicted to come in second. The boys look to build off an incredible last season in which they saw their first state championships in five years. The boys return four of the top seven and add fifteen new runners to the squad.
The girls team is led by freshman captain Katy Hall, sophomore captain Katie Weber, and junior Joey Palmquist. Other varsity members include sophomore returner Leyla Ziolkowski, 7th grade rookie Hannah Davis, and freshman Tanvi Singh. Hall who is seeded 11th is expected to break the top ten after a successful training season. Weber will also look for a top fifteen performance to aid her team. 7th grader Jessica King and 8th grader Lindsey Knott will look to top the JV squad.
The girls are seeded to come in fourth out of ten teams in their opening competition. They are looking to rebuild after losing their top two runners to graduation (Morgan Bridges and Daria Yoder) along with other graduated point scorers Bailey Smith and Maddie Watson. The girls only return six girls altogether but add a strong seventeen to the mix. This years team boasts no seniors and one lone junior in Palmquist. Expect big things in the years to come.
Teams attending include Irmo, Pelion, Heathwood Hall, Cardinal Newman, Ben Lippen, The King’s Academy, Midland Valley, Lakewood, and Great Falls.