The Goessel cross country team has 21 runners this year—14 boys and seven girls—with practices being competitive, as there is comparable talent between the two squads, according to fifth-year coach Brian Lightner.
One of the things Lightner said he wants from the season was to maintain and develop the team’s family atmosphere, where they all look out for each other, which allows the team to feel comfortable taking risks, challenging themselves physically, mentally and socially in the races and in their lives.
“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,” he said.
The top three returning runners for the boys are sophomore Dawson Duerksen, junior, Jerah Schmidt and senior Nate Impson.
“These young men have committed themselves to the summer running program and will be ready to go at the end of August,” Lightner said. “We had a really good pack of boys last year, but we weren’t fast enough. With another year of experience, we are wanting to move that pack ahead in the race to compete better as a team.”
The top returning girls runners are juniors Porclein Unruh and Elyse Boden. Each had health issues last year, so Lightner said he is hoping to manage their training a little closer in order to finish the season being at their best.
“This group of kids enjoys being together and having fun and that is an important aspect to participation and competition in high school athletics,” Lightner said. “We strive to represent Goessel to the best of our ability and hope to compete at a high level with sportsmanship, heart and training both on and off the course.”