Last fall, the Goessel High School boys? varsity placed third at regionals, ninth at state and this year returns four state runners.
Coach Greg Bontrager anticipates that sophomore Laird Goertzen, senior Anthony Esau and juniors Isaac Fast and Chad Wedel will lead GHS this year.
The squad will include juniors Derek Kruger and Jared Reimer, freshmen Stephen Goertzen and Austin Unruh and exchange students Lars Oslund and Carl Hylten.
The girls? squad missed making the trip to state by one point, but has two returning individual qualifiers in juniors Lindsey Wedel and Kristen Hoffman. The team also includes junior Sara Boman, sophomore Shanna Klassen and junior exchange student Mareika Joppien.
Bontrager likes the look of both teams in the early going.
?I have said the same thing for years, but I continue to see how incredibly supportive these kids can be,? he said. ?Already, in the first week of practice, I have seen runners helping by cheering for each other no matter where they are in the line up.
?My favorite thing to see is when the faster runners, after finishing their workout, go back out and run in with their teammates,? he added.
The 2008 season opens Sept. 4 at Clearwater.