Local cross-country teams expect another bright year
Towanda Black Knights
Head Coach: Leo Harris II, Junior High - Keith Brown
Record: girls 9-0. Boys 7-2
Returning runners Girls - Kaitlin Purdy, Errika Walker, Jasmine Reyes, Colleen Purdy
Boys - Schyuler Smith, Kevin Blackman, Simon Smith, Derek Cole, Terrick Vargason, Matt Bartholomew, Nick Secules, Jordan Isbell, Daniel Wilhelm, Austin Kriner
Newcomers: Girls - Ezoza Ismalova, Elaina Johnson, Kinsley Kriner, Cassidy Walker, Victoria Ackley
Boys - Josh Pavey
Runners to Watch: Girls - Kaitlin Purdy, Boys - Kevin Blackman, Simon and Schuyler Smith
Thoughts on the year: Girls - we lost two great seniors, who were our number one and three runners (Destiny Foster ninth in the state and Danielle Zatkos) from last years undefeated NTL championship and district runner up team. The leadership and top notch work ethic will be difficult to replace. Kaitlin was the first girl left out of the state qualifying girls and is hungry to return to the state meet after the near miss and an excellent run as a freshman. We have a tremendous amount of work ahead of us and look forward to the help of our incoming freshman.
Boys - our boys had an excellent season finishing the year in outstanding form with a ninth place finish at the state championships and runner ups in the district championship (losing the championship by one point to Lewisburg). We lose our number one runner Aaron Valoroso (fourth in the state and district champion to graduation), but return our next six runners. We have high expectations and a deep desire to improve on last years state finish. The challenge will be making it out of a loaded district. We need several of our young men to step it up in several ways.
Thoughts on the league: Girls - Wellsboro comes back loaded with a talented group of young ladies who took the top spot at districts last year and return several state tested runners. The Athens program continues to improve and Sayre has been tough for several years. If Mansfield fields a full roster they will be competitive as they always have quality runners.
Boys - Northeast is the defending "State, District, and NTL Champion" and graduated two of the top runners in the state! But don't be fooled by the quality and talent that this team returns. Coach Murphy is an outstanding coach with some young stallions that have been preparing for their chance to keep a proud tradition going. We will need to be at our best to fight for the league championship. Almost every team returns proven and veteran runners which should make for an exciting season. No team can be taken for granted.
Head Coach: Buck Place (2nd year)
Returning runners: Keegan Brown (12th), Sam Perri (11th), Kyle Grady (11th), Ryan Canavan (11th), Gabe Herbst (10th), Nick Lynch (10th), Mike Walter (10th), Austin Dukes (10th)
Newcomers: Garrett Burlew (12th), Jacob Owen (11th), Jeff Gao (9th), Anthony Wells (9th), Kaiden Winters (9th).
Runner to watch: Jeff Gao
Thoughts on this year's team: Gabe Herbst has been working hard all summer and looks as though he is going to be called upon to replace state qualifier Matt Millard as the teams top runner. Freshman Jeff Gao will push Gabe to be fastest on team. Look to see these two finish next to each other every race. Mike Walter had a great finish to last years season. Hopefully, he can start the season where he left off last year. Second year runner Kyle Grady could easily step up for a varsity spot, as well as Sam Perri and team leader Keegan Brown.
Thoughts on the league this season: The NTL lost some great runners last year. As always, the league will still be very tough. NEB and Towanda could be the teams to watch. If the underclassmen step up, Athens could surprise some teams in the NTL. There are going to be a lot of exciting races this season!
Head Coach: Scott Riley
Record last season: 6-3
Returning runners: Ashley Follett (12), Kirstan Vanderpool (12), Maria Hudock (11), Michaela Babcock (10), Michaela Courtney (10), Kendra Felt (10), Casey Lattimer (10), Emily Madigan (10)
Newcomers: Lauren Pruyne (12), Claire Trasorras (12), Jamie Larew (10), Ariyahana Bernard (9), Alectra Cannavino (9), Sarah Montrose (9)
Runner to watch: Michaela Courtney, Maria Hudock, Emily Madigan and Casey Lattimer are returning varsity runners that have been working hard and have looked good so far. Lauren Pruyne and Claire Trasorras are first year seniors that have looked good so far as well.
Thoughts on this year's team: Paige Bennett has been a leader for the team the last few years and has graduated along with three others so that is a huge void to fill. We are fortunate to have a large underclassmen group that has seen varsity action and big races. The freshman and first year seniors will need to step up and fill several of the open spots created
Thoughts on the league this season: Looking across the league, several schools lost their top runners. These were girls that we NTL leaders as well as District IV leaders. Many of those schools will be in similar situations to what we are experiencing where one or two athletes have been the top runner on a team for years. The NTL is fortunate to have a good Junior High feeder program to help fill these voids. It's always interesting to see how those kids transition to the High School level.
Cowanesque Valley Indians
Coaches: Jessica Spencer (girls) and Aaron Wooster (boys)
Returning runners: Boys-TJ Swartz (12), Brian Fulmer (12), Benjamin Williams (11)
Girls-Mikayla Mosher (12)
Newcomers: Boys - Ryan Freeman (12), David Laurens (10), Caleb Bieser (9), Evan Miller (9)
Girls - Taylor Krusen (9), Paige Swartz (9)
Runner to watch: Paige Swartz
Thoughts on this year's team: We lost several experienced runners and our varsity numbers are low. Our junior high numbers have decreased as well, but we're hoping they learn about the sport, do well and fill out varsity teams in future years.
Thoughts on the league: Our league is historically solid and competitive - with talented runners and coaches alike. We're really shifting our focus this year to our own programs, but we wish everyone the best of luck!
Wellsboro Green Hornets
Head Coach: Tom Slichter
Assistant Coach: Jeff Zuchowski
Record last season: Girls 11-1 (District IV Champions, 11th State Championships)
Boys 9-3 (3rd District IV)
Returning runners: Boys-Joey Doganiero (12), Dalton Messmer (11), David Zavetsky (10)
Girls-Charlotte Worthington (12), Baylee Mann (12), Annie Sweeney (11), Caitlyn Butler (11), Jada Jackson (10), Jordyn Coffee (10), Camryn Keane (10), Samantha Bailey (10)
Newcomers: Boys - Nathan Cotner (9), Joey Messmer (9), Alden Weiner (9)
Girls - Janessa Davis (9)
Runners to watch: Boys - Joey Doganiero 12th District IV
Girls - Jordyn Coffee 9th District IV, Jada Jackson 10th District IV, Charlotte Worthington 17th District IV, Camryn Keane 27th District IV, Samantha Bailey 33rd District IV.
Thoughts on this year's team: This will be a rebuilding year for the boys. The girls have everyone back from the District and State Championships except for Randi Grim who graduated.
Thoughts on the league this season: This should be another good year for the girls and depending on how quickly the young boys team matures, they could do well also.
Head Coach: Jason Fletcher
Record last season: Girls 1-6, Boys 0-7
Returning runners: Girls - Violet Learn (12), Simone Lichty (12), Logan Wilson (11), Ayla Rohl (11), Patricia Minnich (12)
Newcomers: Boys - Jacob Harris (11), Sean Kshir (10)
Girls - Brittany Weiskopff (9)
Runner to watch: Violet and Simone should finish at the top of most league meets.
Thoughts on this year's team: If the girls stay healthy they will contend for the league title.
Thoughts on the league this season: Too early to tell.
Sullivan County Griffins
Coaches: Gail Vaughan, Glenn Vaughan
Last season: Boys 12-8, Girls 14-7
Returning: Boys - Bob Polcrack (12), Jordan Beinlich (11), Tom Choplick (11)
Girls - Crystal Riebe (12), Alexis Kiess (11), Kelly Kramer (11), Bethany Lambert (11), Emily McMahon (11), Olivia Morgan (10), Bridget Paonessa (10), Mackenzie Doyle (10)
Newcomers: Boys - Tanner McCarty (12), Taylor Baldwin (9), Liam Molyneux (9), James McCamley (9), Jon Pedro (9), Jordan Pedro (9)
Girls - Taylor Hull (11)
Managers: Kurt Rexer (11), Noah Krieg (10), Kassidy Brown (10), Miguel Rodriguez (10), Lauren Chase (9), Erin Derrick (9)
Runners to watch: Alexis Kiess, Bridget Paonessa, Jordan Beinlich, Bob Polcrack, Tom Choplick
Thoughts on this year's team: The girls had their second straight winning season last year and almost captured the PHAC III title. We still have a young team, but we are much more experienced. We should have strong leadership this year and the girls should be excited about the opportunity that lies ahead of them. We are expecting to be one of the best teams in the PHAC III. Our boys' team is coming off our eighth straight winning season. We lost three seniors, and our two captains (Lucas Hatton and Kelby Mullen, 3-time state medalist). The look of our team will be different, but the goals remain to compete with the best teams in our league. We have nine competitive runners that are ready to test themselves in what should be an exciting season.
Head Coach: Randy Felt
Returning runners: Boys - Nick Sweet, Andy Platt, James Misner, John Misner, Phil Bennett, Austin Lockwood, Ryan Kipp
Girls - Katherine Porter, Sydney Beeman, Kristen Johnston
Newcomers: Boys - Jeremy Marshall, Zach Miller, Marcos Velazquez,
Girls - Grace McClelland, Kaitlyn Cron, Madison Friedrichsen
Runner to watch: Boys - Nick Sweet, junior - 2012 PIAA State qualifier
Girls - Katherine Porter and Grace McClelleand - seniors
Thoughts on this year's team: We lost some key runners. On the guys side we have a solid group returning. For the girls we will have a solid five or six. We have a number of new kids that I am excited to see what they can do.
Thoughts on the league this season: As with most years the league will be competitive. I think Northeast and Towanda standout on the boys' side with Wellsboro for the girls.
Head Coach: Scott Baird
Record last season: Boys 9-6, Girls 8-7
Returning runners: Boys - Randy Chandler (12), Mark Kraus (12), Collin Traub (11), Kacey Madigan (11), Brody Sprague (10), Garrett Sutryk (9 - Came up from modified to finish season)
Girls - Katelyn Moore (12), Kaylee Uhl (11), Kelsey Frank (10), Audri Frisbie (10)
Newcomers: Zach Lockwood (9), Hunter Bodine (9), Jared Vascoe (9), Nate Mattison (9)
Girls-Katie Dibble (12), Brianna Featherson (10)
Runner to watch: Randy Chandler, Mark Kraus, Collin Traub, Garrett Sutryk. All four of these guys are really close to each other. Anyone of them could be our top runner. That's why I excited about these four. If they are able to stay close to each other, and are able to run near the front, then we have the makings of having a very good team. They have put a lot of running in this past summer. It should pay off for them. Kaylee Uhl has the inside track as our top runner. Kelsey Frank could be much improved to be able to stay with Kaylee. Also, Kate Moore could also be considered to give the other 2 a run for their money. The three of them have also put in a lot of running together, so I feel these three could be a much stronger pack than last year.
Thoughts on this year's team: As for the boys, they made much improvement last year. If they continue this progress, we could find ourselves competing with anyone. My concern right now would be who will be our 5th and 6th runner. These two spots will be important in order for the team to be successful. So, I'm looking for someone to step up. As for the girls, I have only six runners. They too also improved greatly last year. My top three should be right in the thick of things. I will need them to be a strong pack because there may be a wide difference with the remaining three runners. If they are able to respond, the girls have a good shot of with some of the other teams.
Thoughts on the league this season: A number of the tops teams lost some good runners, so hopefully this will help us. Right now, I feel Newark Valley should be at the top as well as Trumansburg, or at least until they are knocked off.
Northeast Bradford Panthers
Head Coach: Mike Murphy
Assistant coach: Sandra Morris
Record last season: boys 9-0, girls 7-2. Boys: NTL, D4 single A, single A state champs
Returning runners: Girls - Katie Allen (11), Taylor Arnold (10), Taylor Barrett (10), Rachel Cooper (10), Hailey Fisher (10), Alyson Middaugh (11), Shelby Park (11), Chelsea Souto (12), Alyssa Turner (11), Lydia Werner (10), Anna Wheaton (10), Julia Williams (11)
Boys - Derek Allabaugh (11), Sam Beers (10), Brandon Devonshire (12), Ben Horton (11), Levi Upham (10)
Newcomers: Girls-Cassie Johnson (9), Kyra Pryne (9), Leah Russell (9), Andrea Williams (9), Brian Horton (9), Alec Morris (9), Austin Senn-Bishop (9), Garret Smith (9)
Runner to watch: Brandon Devonshire and Lydia Werner will return as cross country state medalist from last year.
Thoughts on this year's team: The girls team will be competitive in the league and district. Their success will be determined where a strong pack of runners finishes overall in the race. The boy's team will return to the NEB of old. We lost our two front runners, Curt Jewett and Sam Williams to graduation, but I think we can have a very strong team by having a stronger pack overall.
Thoughts on the league this season: The league lost a lot of top runners to graduation on the boys and girls side. There are a lot of hungry harriers looking to fill those shoes.
Head Coach: Barry Morgan
Record last season: Boys 8-1, Girls 0-9 (no complete team)
Returning runners: Boys-Brendan Cohick, Chris Whitehead, Cody VanRyn, Brennan Gleckner, Dylan Marbaker, Mike May, Quin Abercrombie, Nyan Black, Nate Thompson
Girls-Alyssa Black, Tiffany Bassett
Newcomers: Boys - Kobe Walker
Girls - Cassidy Bellows, Alexa Landis, Katie Sparling, Celena Hinkleman
Runner to watch: Brennan Gleckner
Thoughts on this year's team: Both teams are young this year with a lot of talent
Thoughts on the league this season: As in every season in the NTL, this season should be a very good competitive one, with many closely score meets.
Head Coach: Jim Schools
Record last season: Boys - 5-4, Girls - 4-5
Returning runners (boys and girls): Boys - Zamien Benditt-Parkes, Jordan Schools, Matt Woodruff, Mitchell schools, Tracey Brown
Girls - Sarah LaFrance, Pam Kelly, Carlyn Edsell
Newcomers (boys and girls): Boys - Wesley Ballard, Josh Haley
Girls - Kylee Ward, Morgan Sutton, Megan McLelland, Courtney Norman
Runner to watch (boys and girls): Boys - Zamien Benditt-Parkes, Matt Woodruff, Jordan Schools
Girls - Pam Kelly, Sarah LaFrance, Morgan Sutton
Thoughts on this year's team: Were smaller in numbers were pretty good in quality. I'm very pleased with the way the season has gone so far with the work that they are doing. Their attitude is good, their work ethic is good. Were small in numbers so we've just got to be careful.
Thoughts on the league this season: Obviously its one of the most difficult leagues in the state. A very close race as far as the team title goes for the boys. I think Towanda and NEB are top two teams for the boys. For the girls, everybody lost a lot except for Wellsboro, I think it's basically their league to win.
Head Coach: Stuart Rogers
Comments on this year's team: Tioga Central Cross Country has small teams with runners who lack 5k experience but who are showing maturity in their attitude towards the sport. Last year the girl's team was incomplete and the boys were only complete for championships, finishing last in the IAC. This year it looks like we will be incomplete again.
Head Coach: Gary Ward
Assistant Coach: Bettina Campbell
Record last season: Boys - 4-5, Girls - 1-8
Returning runners: Boys - Ethan Calkins (12), Adam Gentilin (12), Jordan Grimes (12), Kyle Petris (11), Jacob Culkin (10), Lucas Nichols (10)
Girls - Emma Simpson (10), Alana Swain (10), Leah Ward (11), Kassidy Colton (12)
Newcomers; Boys - Jarrod Rathbun (9), Avery Watkins (9)
Girls - Meghan Rogers (9), Faith Cryan (11)
Runners to watch: Boys - Ethan Calkins returning state qualifier, Jordan Grimes 4th year letterman, upstart U.S. Marine bound Adam Gentilin.
Girls - Leah Ward 4th year in program and Kassidy Colton.
Comments on this year's team: Boys placed 3rd out of 42 teams last year at McQuaid, struggled in a very competitive NTL, three runners logged good miles this summer.
Girls' numbers and depth will hurt, potential for a .500 season if they stay healthy. With Casey being gone to Shipp they have more of a pack mentality.
Thoughts on the league this season: NTL is strong especially boys, lots of good junior high kids on Troy team. Girls NTL Wellsboro team to beat