By Jan Rahn
“Excited to get started,” said Coach Paul Wurst about the upcoming PCHS cross country season.
Along with assistant coach Tim Colglazier, Wurst leads a team of one dozen harriers—seven boys and five girls—who compete in their opening meet (today) Thursday, Sept. 3, in Goodland, Kan.
“I always look to my seniors to provide leadership for our team,” said Wurst.
The girls team returns three of the four runners who performed well last year, ending on a high note with their accomplishments.
Returning letterwinners are Brooke Poppe, Krystal Gaar and Ashley Kemling.
The strength of their team is their attitude coming off the successful season they had last year—SPVA champs, District D5 runners up, and placing 13th at state.
Two freshmen, Jessi Hoffert and Erica Howard , join the girls team.
The bulk of last year’s boys squad graduated, so the team is rebuilding, said Wurst.
“These guys look strong and are running well,” she said.
Three freshmen and one upperclassman join three returning letterwinners.
Returning from last year are senior Josh Sexson, senior Brian Krajewski and sophomore Seth Burge. Joining the squad are junior Zac White and freshmen Mark Hanson, Rassel Hausman and Jake Sexson.
“I am looking forward to this season,” said Wurst. “The runners seem to be ready and in good condition. This feels like a determined group.”
The season’s student manager is senior Elisa Carlson whose torn ACL prevents her from running with her teammates this year.
“A loss?—you better believe it,” said Wurst.
Next Thursday, Sept. 10, the runners travel to the Imperial Invite, followed by a very tough challenge on the steep terrain of the Heritage Hills Golf Course in McCook Thursday, Sept. 17.