Emmetsburg's girls and boys cross country teams will officially start the 2014 sports season next Tuesday, Aug. 26, as Coach Valerie Pickett's runners will make the short jaunt to Spencer for a meet at the Spencer Municipal Golf Course. Junior Varsity action will get underway at 5 p.m.
With nine returning letterwinners and a State Meet appearance to build on, the outlook for Cross Country at Emmetsburg is very, very positive.
"The ladies are returning five of seven runners from the state team and will have even more depth this year,"?noted Pickett, who is in her fourth year leading the Emmetsburg harriers. "The guys are returning most of their top runners from last year and they also have a lot of new faces, but their team will be a lot stronger this year."
In 2013, the Lady E-Hawks would earn second place honors in the Lakes Conference, and then built upon that finish to qualify for the State Championships, where they finished ninth overall as a team at Fort Dodge.
The E-Hawk Boys would finish fifth last Fall at the District meet, with Nick Grandstaff as the team leader for this season, hoping to improve on his 26th place finish at the State championships in 2013.
With three seniors, Tara Harris, Mikki Mundus and Alexa Naig returning, along with 10th place state finisher Ashley Overberg and fellow sophomore Jordan Hoyman, the Lady E-Hawks have two Individual State?Qualifiers and two All Conference runners to draw on for leadership this season.
"Both our varsity and junior varsity took second at the conference meet last year, so look for them to be competitive this year," Pickett said.
The E-Hawks have Junior State Qualifier and All Conference runner Nick Grandstaff along with seniors Jas Jamison and Daniel VanOosbree returning, along with junior Cole Jackson as the foundation for things to come.
"As far as our boys team goes, a lot of inexperienced runners will crack our lineup and will be making an impact right away,"?Pickett noted. "This team will be stronger than last year, and will also have more depth."