Goessel High School cross country will have 16 runners this year, 11 boys and 5 girls. Their motto this year is “Every Step Matters” and their goal as a team is to have a purpose in everything they do in life, both in and out of running, and to give their best effort wherever and whenever.
Head Coach Brian Lightner has been coaching the Goessel Bluebirds for six years. He pours everything he can into his program and enjoys teaching them skills they can apply both on the course and off.
“We will be learning that it’s the little things that lead to big successes and challenging each other to make every day, every practice, every hill, every minute and every step count. We are wanting to maintain and develop our family atmosphere where we look out for one another and encourage each other so that everyone can feel comfortable taking risks and challenging themselves physically, mentally and socially in the races and in their lives,” said Lightner. “ I hope that through a dedicated commitment to a solid training program each runner will experience their own version of success and will be satisfied with their effort at the end of the season.”
Top three returners for the boys team are Dawson Duerksen, Jerah Schmidt and Brendon Hicks with the 2018 season bests of 18:18, 18:35, and 19:13 respectively.
“We are excited for the boys’ season ahead with five of the top seven runners returning from a seventh place finish at the state meet last year. We will be lead by senior Jerah Schmidt who really improved his track times last spring and has continued his running program throughout the summer,” said Lightner.
Sophomores Jacob and Timothy Schrag are looking to make the sophomore drop in times this year as they were both able to run under 20:00 last year and are wanting to improved.
“We hope to defend our league title with a very significant challenger in Canton-Galva who has very good and young runners as well. If we are able to get four runners under 19:00, we hope to make a return trip to the state meet and make a push for the podium,” said Lightner.
The top three girls returners are Elyse Boden, Porclein Unruh and Katelyn Olson with 2018 season bests of 23:21, 24:44 and 26:22 respectively.
“We only have four returning runners this year and are hoping to add a few more girls to the team the first week of school. This will be the smallest girls team we have had in awhile and each of these girls know they will be counted on every week of competition to bring their best. If they can focus on improving each day and continue to encourage each other through the tough, early meets of the season then they will show big improvement at the end of the season,” said Lightner.
The coach said that this group of kids enjoy being together and creating fun and that is an important aspect to participation and competition in high school athletics. He said he and the team strive to represent Goessel to the best of their ability and hope to compete at a high level with sportsmanship, heart and training both on and off the course.
Coming— The Bluebirds will start their season off with an invitational at Abilene on Thursday, Sept 5. It begins at 4 p.m.