Boys and girls cross country '11: Teams look strong heading into state series
Published: Friday, October 7, 2011 - 3:53pm
This year, the Uni High boys and girls cross country teams have exemplified how team unity can go a long way. As a team, the boys and girls have managed to place high in a good amount of meets, and are now feeling hopeful as they finish their regular season on Saturday at the Cumberland Invitational and prepare for state series.
On the boys side, Uni cross country has done well despite the losses of several extremely talented runners, such as Class of 2011 graduates Albert Anastasio, Buck Walsh, and Ziran Shang. Luckily, the boys have still had a strong group of sophomores, as well senior Iain Konigsberg, to carry the team along this season.
"Our team wasn’t as strong as we might have thought, because we don’t train as hard over the summer as other teams," said sophomore Jonny Yockey. "You should still look forward to a big finish, though."
"We’ve done more than what was expected of us, but there’s still room for improvement," added classmate George Gunter.
As for the girls, the team features varsity runners ranging from sophomores to seniors, and that deep talent pool has been a valuable asset this season. Losing Class of 2011 alum Emma Coverdill was a significant loss for them, but they have done well this season in spite of it.
"Our team has a lot more depth this year," said senior Christina Harden. "Last year, we would have been scrambling to find other people who could run varsity, but this year we have at least two alternates who could do a great job."
So, while they did not make it to the state level last year, the girls still have their hopes up for this season.
"We want to actually go to State," said sophomore Jaki Vipond. "It would be awesome to send the seniors off with a bang!"
"We know four teams [in our Sectional] that are definitely going to state and the fifth spot seems pretty open," added senior Tanya Denisova. "And I think we have a pretty good chance of getting that fifth spot to go to State."
However, the format of Regionals has changed this year, resulting in a substantially larger number of teams at each Regional meet. This means that Uni will have more competition before even qualifying for Sectionals.
"The format of the state series has changed this year with fewer regional sites and more teams at each regional," explained head coach Doug Mynatt. "In the past, the top five teams and top five individuals at the regional advanced to sectionals. This year, the top seven teams and the top five individuals will advance."
Though the chances may be somewhat slimmer than last year, the girls and boys are still holding out for shots at State. Both teams have proven this season that it takes a strong set of runners working together, not just a few standout individuals, to make a great team.