By Kelsie Hoitomt
BOYCEVILLE — The Boyceville Cross Country team looks to have a strong presence on the course with 17 boys and seven girls filling out the roster this season.
The team will continue to strive for high achievements through the leadership of seniors Peter Duerst, Tanner Johnson-Hetchler, Ian Kane, James Lindo, Michaella Kegen and Danielle Nelson.
Johnson-Hetchler was 1st team All-Conference and an individual state qualifier in 2012.
“He has worked very hard this year and I know he is coming in with a higher fitness level than previous years,” said head coach Corey Day.
Kane was also an award recipient with 2nd team All-Conference honors last season.
“He is coming off a great track season where he was on two relays that qualified for state. Both Tanner and Ian will also be great captains and I have high expectations of their abilities to lead,” expressed Day.
Other returning letter winners are Mitch Pustol who is a junior this year and Tristan Debell who is a sophomore.
Kegen looks to lead the girls’ team as she was the number one or two runner last season as well as the captain.
According to Day, some newcomers that seem to have strong potential are freshman Max Engle, Michah Johnson and Emma Harnisch.
“Engle had a great first year as an eighth grader with little milage under his belt. He is very dedicated and has put in the miles this year and I am excited for him to try to crack varsity right away. Johnson is a wrestling standout, has a ton of athletic potential and he knows how to work hard. Harnisch is young, but has shown some maturity to make me believe she has it figured out,” explained Day.
Despite the small numbers on the girls’ team, their strength still lies within their determination. On the other hand, the boys’ have the numbers and the experienced runners.
“There is a nice mixture of young and old on the boys’ team, which could be a strength or a weakness depending on how the older guys respond to some new talent. From what I know of my experienced runners with their character and leadership, it should be an exciting time for boys’ cross country in Boyceville,” said Day.
Together as a team, their goals are to focus inward this year and improve every week individually and collectively. In terms of statistics, they feel they will be significantly better this year because of the number of experienced runners returning.
“My expectations are very high for this group, said Day. They work hard and have fun at the same time and those two components should equal success no matter what place we finish.”
The Bulldogs’ first Cross Country meet will be on Thursday, August 29 at 3:00 p.m. on their home course with 17 other schools scheduled to participate.
Seniors: Peter Duerst, Tanner Johnson-Hetchler, Ian Kane, James Lindo, Michaella Kegen, Danielle Nelson
Juniors: Mitchell Pustol, Austin Wolfe
Sophomores: Tristan Debell, Ian Fontaine, Jack Kapsner, Alec Scaefer, Anna Hagan, Katie Kegen, Carolyn Voelker
Freshman: Kiel Anderson, Michael Chich, Maxwell Engel, Michah Johnson, Reyse Klatt, Jerod Nelson, Kyle Wittmer, Emma Harnisch, Erica Sempf.