Depth a concern for Mclouth girls
Boys team looking for contributions from returnees
The McLouth High girls cross country team last year posted the best finish for any Bulldog cross country team -- boys or girls -- since George Karn started coaching at MHS in 1981.
It could be tough for the Bulldogs to replicate that great finish at the state meet in Wamego.
MHS lost six seniors from that team -- Mikala Karn, Erin and Hallie Watson, Christy Gunther, Neva Gardner and Erica Meyer.
This year, McLouth will compete without any seniors. Top returners include junior Liv Turner and sophomore Kasidie Kramer.
"We're pretty young, but I'm optimistic," coach George Karn said. "Hopefully at the end of the season we'll be able to see where we're at."
Last year, the girls finished behind Beloit in their Class 3A regional. At the Delaware Valley League meet, MHS finished behind fellow 3A school Kansas City Christian. At state, however, the Bulldogs came back and finished ahead of both squads.
"We came back pretty strong," Karn said.
Karn hopes his team can make a late-season push again this fall, but depth will be a concern. The team has just five runners -- the number required to field a team.
MHS boys cross country
Karn had a top runner in Scott Smelser last fall, but Smelser now is running at Fort Hays State. Also lost to graduation were Justin Drinnon and Bryce Hoffhines, so the boys squad also has some running shoes to fill.
The Bulldogs, though, do have some runners returning. Nick Edgell, Tanner Bristol and Cody Barry are back for their senior seasons, along with juniors Ryan Saxton and Dustin Rainey. Last year, Rainey was a letterman as a sophomore. In the sophomore class, Karn will be looking for contributions from John Trieu, who Karn said was "improved from his freshman year."
Freshman Charlie Turner could help the team down the stretch as well. The rookie won't be running in the first few meets, Karn said, but he has been doing well during preseason workouts.
"I'd say he'll be in the varsity lineup," Karn said. "He looks good right now."