The Goessel cross-country team may be a young team this fall, but they return experience that will help them in the long run.
?With only one senior boy and one senior girl, we are a very young team,? said coach Derrick Birdsell. ?However, we return five letter-winners from last year?s boys? team, so the possibility for growth is tremendous.?
One of the seniors projected to leave her mark for the girls is Brittny Czarnowsky.
?Brittny Czarnowsky will be a strong competitor,? Birdsell said. ?She has a very real chance at doing well at the state meet her senior season.
Returners Heath Goertzen, Nathan Czarnowsky and Stephan Goertzen lead the boys? team.
?These three push each other both in practices and in meets and are the backbone of our team,? Birdsell said. ?The rest of our boys? team also is strong, and there will be good competition for the remaining spots on the team.?
Birdsell also said he is excited about newcomer Dan Smucker, who is joining as a junior.
?He has a good chance of making significant contributions to our team,? he said.
Birdsell said their main goal for the season is to improve during the season. He said last season everyone who ran at regionals ran a personal record time.
He thought one of the toughest meets of the regular season will be at Hesston.
?Hesston is always a tough meet due to the size of the field,? he said. ?It is one of the largest meets in the state, so succeeding there is always gratifying.?
Birdsell said his team is trying to prepare for state competition.
?We place an emphasis on running on hilly terrain,? he said. ?The past two years our regional meet has been on a course with noticeable hills, and the state course is always hilly. So preparing for those situations helps us at the end of the season.?