Warrior runners have the numbers to compete in 2006

ORIGINALLY WRITTEN ANDREW OTTOSON
The Marion Warriors have six seniors and returning letter-winners on the cross-country team this fall. Pictured are: back row (from left), Matt Kirkpatrick, Daniel Goentzel, Ben Leppke; front row, Katie Hett, Danielle Cope, Tacy Taylor. Not pictured are Bryce Nelson and Luke Bowers.

With 14 runners, Marion Warrior cross-country coach Bethany Carlson feels she has a group that will compete this season.

“The girls’ and the boys’ team should be competitive in the (Mid-Central Activities Association) league and qualify several runners for state,” Carlson said.

With senior Daniel Goentzel returning to lead the boys’ squad and senior Danielle Cope back to lead the girls, the Warriors have the experience they need to succeed this fall.

“We have a good group of seniors,” Carlson said.

Cope, in particular, has a history of running well. She qualified for state competition in both cross country and track last year.

The Warrior girls will feature five other runners this fall. Freshmen Brook Johnson and Jacklyn Deforest will join senior Katie Hett, junior Tacy Taylor and sophomore Camille Christensen.

The boys’ team features eight runners, including Goentzel, seniors Luke Bowers, Matt Kirkpatrick, Ben Leppke and Bryce Nelson, junior Logan Richmond, and freshmen Louis Holt, Ryan Jones, Marshall Ragland and Cody Tuck.

In her first year, one of Carlson’s goals is to raise the competitive level of her team.

“My hope is for the Marion cross-country team to become a competitive program in the 3A classification, one that can challenge for a regional title each season and be competitive at the state level,” she said.

Carlson also sets the bar high for herself: “It is my strong belief that our student-athletes will become what we expect them to become,” she said.

“I will work very hard to encourage our athletes to succeed-our expectations are high.”

Carlson is expecting her first child in September and will temporarily turn the team over to 2005 cross country coach Rex Ostmeyer while she takes maternity leave.

Under Ostmeyer, the girls’ team finished seventh at the 2005 MCAA league meet, the boys team finished fifth.

The Warriors will compete first on Thursday when then team travels to Abilene. Races begin at 4 p.m.

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