Archive for Tuesday, August 21, 2012

McLouth cross country hopes to utilize bigger numbers in 2012

August 21, 2012

— If bigger numbers have any relation to better results, the McLouth High cross country team could be in for a fun season.

The Bulldogs will open the 2012 campaign with 16 runners — the most coach Jamie Noll has ever had during her time with the program. With very little experience lost from last year’s team, the sixth-year coach has plenty of reasons to be optimistic.

“We have huge numbers compared to anything I’ve had in the past,” Noll said. “We have three runners from Oskaloosa and 13 from McLouth, so we’ll have big numbers this year. We barely have enough for a girls team — we’re right at five — but I’ve got 11 boys.”

The girls will be without their top runner in 2012 graduate Kendra Leach, but the boys didn’t lose anyone to graduation last year.

Varsity spots aren’t necessarily a premium for the girls team, but Noll hopes the increased number of boys — not to mention McLouth’s rivalry with Oskaloosa — will lead to heated battles for top spots before the start of the season.

“Part of it is having two different schools together,” she said. “They’re getting along great, but I think that’s definitely competition. I’ve seen it mostly with the boys. They’re really pushing each other. Only the top seven are going to run on varsity and the rest are going to run JV, so hopefully that will make the times come down.”

The Bulldogs will start the season Aug. 30 when they run at the Jeff West Invitational in Topeka. Their only home meet of the season is set for Sept. 13.

Noll admitted neither team made much noise at last year’s regional, partially because she sets a time runners must meet before they can compete in the meet. However, with plenty of experience back from a year ago, she’s hopeful that runners will start posting faster times right away in 2012.

“I’ve had maybe one boy and one girl place at each meet, but I’d like to see more,” she said. “I’d like to get some actual team trophies and higher placers.”

2012 MHS cross country schedule

Aug. 30 at Jeff West (Topeka), 4 p.m.

Sept. 6 at ACCHS, 4 p.m.

Sept. 13 McLouth Invitational, 4 p.m.

Sept. 20 at Troy, 4 p.m.

Sept. 27 at Horton, 4 p.m.

Oct. 4 at Pleasant Ridge, 4 p.m.

Oct. 11 at DVL (Rim Rock), 4 p.m.

Oct. 20 at Regionals, TBA

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