Wildcat cross country looks primed for season

Saturday, September 8, 2007

What happens when you bring back six runners from a state-qualifying cross country team?

Well the Cassville Ladycat cross country team will find out this year as the girls and the boys squads get started on their fall season.

The girls teams brings back all but one of its runners from the District 6 runner-up team last year.

The team will rely on the leadership of their returning varsity starters who include seniors Ron'L Hoff, Misty Long and Gabby LeCompte as well as juniors Tia Baker, Courtney Beagle and Cheyann Essley.

The squad has also expanded its roster with the additions of senior Karen Shilling and junior Ariel Oswald.

The boys team did not qualify for state last year but "is improved," according to Head Coach Chris Shore.

Individual state qualifier Ryan Hamilton, a senior, will lead the squad. In addition to Hamilton, senior Kelly Walsh and sophomore Willie Linenbrink are also returning to the squad.

The boys' team has added some definite "length" to the team this year. Senior Marcus Henry and junior Ryan Pace, who both stand in the 6'3" to 6'4" range, will be running for the Wildcats this fall and hope to make an impact.

The Wildcats' toughest competition this year will likely come from the East Newton Patriots who finished seventh (boys) and 13th (girls) in state in Class 2 last year.

Cassville runners will open their season on Tuesday, Sept. 11 at Monett. Cassville hosts its annual meet on Oct. 8 and competes at conference and district meets on Oct. 20 and 27 respectively.

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