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Returning runners give area teams experience


Greencastle-Antrim Blue Devils

Coach: Rich Secrest, 13th season, 26-45 (.366)

Last year: 5-0, (5-0 Mid Penn Colonial Division champion) 

Returning runners: Andrew Johnson (sr.), Rylan Hummer (jr.), Dylan Neikirk (jr.), Billy Schemel (sr.), Brock Widder (jr.).

Other top runners: Danny Miller (fr.), Peter Schemel (fr.), Kaleb Hurley (jr.), Luke Herman (jr.). 

Outlook: "Hopefully we have a chance to compete for the division," Secrest said. "We will find out really quickly following our meet with Big Spring and Boiling Springs. That will be the first test. The boys have a lot of experience and put on a lot of miles over the summer."

Notes: Secrest expects freshman Peter Schemel and Danny Miller to perform well, bringing some depth to the Blue Devils. 

Season opener: Friday, at Enos Yeager Invitational, 5:30

Shippensburg Greyhounds

Coach: Stan Line, fourth season, 12-13 (.480)

Last year: 3-9 (0-5 Mid Penn Colonial)

Returning runners: Hunter Kent (sr.), Isaac Covert, Bailey Renfrew (jr.), Shaine Rotz (sr.).

Other top runners: Sam Nonemaker (jr.)

Outlook: Line said, "We are going to be a little bit stronger, certainly. Everyone returning is a solid group of five runners. We are hoping to have a team to qualify for districts. Hunter will be a senior and has some real goals to get himself to place higher up in the Mid Penns and districts." 

Notes: With an older core of runners, Line has already seen a workflow change in the team. The runners are more focused, and are working well together ... Nonemaker joins the team as a junior; he was a top Greyhound swimmer last year.  

Season opener: Tuesday, at home vs. James Buchanan, Waynesboro, 4:30

Waynesboro Indians 

Coach: Michael Garraway, third season, 5-4 (.555).

Last year: 2-3 (2-3 Mid Penn Colonial)

Returning runners: Chris Maichle (sr.), Trey Foreman (sr.), Sadrach Roundy (sr.)

Other top runners: Marcus Cooley (so.), Ethan Lohman (fr.), Noah Scahill (jr.)

Outlook: "The guys are definitely going to be better than last year," Garraway said. "The guys have a good solid top three or four, so it's going to be about how we can finish in the fourth and fifth spots. We are going to be a better year if we play our cards right." 

Notes: The Indians are running with a younger core, but Garraway is confident in the talent after tough summer workouts ... "We have more younger guys, and I'm excited to see how it goes, I think it will be good for our team," Garraway said.

Season opener: Saturday at Bear Mountain River Run at Lock Haven, 11 a.m.

Southern Fulton Indians

Coach: Joe Hollenshead, eighth season, 53-19 (.736)

Last year: 8-2 

Returning runners: Chase Varner (sr.), Benji Voight (sr.), Dylan Ensor (jr.), Sage Minteer (jr.), Nate Voight (so.) 

Other top runners: Liam Flaherty (jr)

Outlook: "I truly feel the boys should win our district again, barring injuries," Hollenshead said. "We have several freshman, and I'm not sure how they will do, but our older athletes have a lot of experience and will work well with the young kids."

Notes: The Indians return both top runners from 2015, Varner and Benji Voight ... Seven runners on the roster, including some of the top runners, also play soccer for Southern Fulton, and have not practiced full-time with the cross country team.

Season opener: Thursday, Sept. 8, at James Buchanan, 4:30

James Buchanan Rockets

Coach:  Jerome Staniszewsksi, second year.

Last year: 4-4 

Returning runners: Nick Garbinski (jr.), Alex Giffen (jr.), Ethan Izer (sr.) 

Other top runners:  Dalton Leab (sr.) 

Outlook: Staniszewsksi said, "We want a PR every race. We are not setting records or looking to be undefeated, but I think we will surprise some teams."

Notes: The Rockets have a solid top four runners, according to Staniszewsksi, but the next five or six best runners will compete throughout the year for a top spot. "It's kind of nice as a coach to have that depth. Really our fifth runner could change week by week, it's so competitive," he said. 

Season opener:  Friday, at Enos Yeager Invitational, 5:30


Greencastle-Antrim Blue Devils

Coach: Rich Secrest, 13th season, 40-26 (.606)

Last year:  0-5 (0-5 Mid Penn Colonial Division)

Returning runners: Lauren Hirneisen (sr.), Coramina Cogan (sr.), Evelyn Bergquist (jr.)

Other top runners: Taryn Parks (fr.), Rebeckah Duvall (fr.).

Outlook: "We'd like to be competitive in the division," Secrest said. "We lost Madison Hurley, who was our big team leader and top contributor, that hurt. I believe Lauren's leadership, and Taryn's talent level, and Evelyn as a team captain will bridge the gap with the younger runners."

Notes: The Blue Devils welcome Parks, a freshman who made waves during track season by breaking the high school stadium record in three events as a middle school student ... She was quickly pegged as an up-and-coming top distance runner in Franklin County ... "She's so wired, so fast and so tenaciousness," Secrest said. "She's not afraid; you can see it in her eyes."

Season opener:  Friday at Enos Yeager Invitational, 5:30

Shippensburg Lady Hounds

Coach:  Stan Line, fourth season, 10-15 (.400)

Last year:  6-6 (2-3 Mid Penn Colonial) 

Returning runners: Ava Franklin (sr.), Megan Pomeroy (jr.), Catherine Crochuns-Brown (so.)

Other top runners:  Teddi Powell, Taylor Neeley, Marina Hastings, Lauren Taylor (sr.), Sarah Lemonica (sr.), Morgan Banadik (sr.).  

Outlook: "The girls are going to be much improved," Line said. "We have three newcomers who are going to help us out tremendously. We are really ready to go if we can stay healthy. We are going to have a very solid core, but it boils down to what the other teams have. We have a real solid top three in Megan, Teddi and Ava grouped together at the top of our pack. Marina, Taylor and Catherine will hopefully be just 45 seconds behind, so we have a solid six that are going to score well."

Notes:  Crochuns-Brown will return after health issues plagued her 2016 track season. Line said she is "extra strong" this cross country season. He said Franklin and Pomeroy also had excellent offseasons.

Season opener: Tuesday, at home vs. James Buchanan, Waynesboro, 4:30

James Buchanan Rockets 

Coach:  Jerome Staniszewsksi, second year.

Last year:  3-5

Returning runners:  Maggie Plessenger (sr.), Alexia Jones (sr.), 

Other top runners:  Madi Shupp (so.), Sarah Kimmel (fr.)

Outlook:  Staniszewsksi said, "We lost three of our best runners from last year, so we are definitely an inexperienced team. We just want to be competitive."

Notes:  It's a rebuilding year for the Rockets after losing their top three runners. Freshman Kimmel has quickly emerged as a top runner, while Plessenger, who took last season off, has returned to the front of the pack. 

Season opener:  Friday, at Enos Yeager Invitational, 5:30

Waynesboro Maidens

Coach: Michael Garraway, third season, 6-3 (.500).

Last year: 4-1 (4-1 Mid Penn Colonial)

Returning runners: Virginia Cooley (so.), Ashlyn Beck (so.), Chelsea Bricker (sr.), Chelsea Cover (sr.), Lindsey Bricker (sr.) 

Outlook: "I think the girls team could be the same if not better than last year," Garraway said. "Virginia Cooley was our No. 2 last year, and came and ran very well in track and put in a lot of work. We are expecting Virginia to be competitive in the division and top 50 in the district." 

Notes:  The Maidens' only loss of 2015 was against Boiling Springs by just one point ... The team lost one senior and welcomes five freshman, all with middle school cross country experience. 

Season opener:  Saturday, at Bear Mountain River Run at Lock Haven, 11

Southern Fulton Indians

Coach:  Joe Hollenshead, eighth season

Last year:  6-4

Returning runners:  Emily Bradshaw (sr.), Maddie Baker (sr.). Lindsey Palmer (sr.), Mary Dudich (jr.)

Other top runners: Olivia Mottern (sr.), Shaelyn Wawro (sr.), Elizabeth Flaherthy (fr.), Lindsey Hollenshead (fr.)  

Outlook: "If we are going to be the top one or two in the district again, it's all going to depend on how the freshman come along. It will depend on how the young mix with the old and they've done well in the first weeks, but with the heat you are never really sure." 

Notes:  The Indians return eight seniors to the 12-man roster ... One junior and three freshman make up the rest of the team.

Season opener:  Thursday, Sept. 8, at James Buchanan, 4:30