Returning state medalists lead the way as team strives for continued improvement.
The Pratt High School cross country team ended on a high note last year, and they are picking up where they left off this year. The girls’ team numbers are up with ten athletes out, while the boys’ team is staying consistent with last year’s numbers at 20 runners. This was a major increase from years past, whereas two years ago, there weren’t enough runners to complete a whole team.
Last year, the girls were league champions, placed third at regionals and then placed 6th at state.
The boys got second at regionals and then placed 11th at state.
Head Coach Kathy Hitz said her runners are aiming even higher this year than last year.
“Both boys and girls teams have their eyes on League champions, top three at regionals, and a good showing at state,” Hitz said.
Some returning male athletes Hitz said the community will want to watch were seniors Raul Orozco and Sergio Adame, as they both placed in the top 10 at regionals last year. Girls to watch will be junior Sian Helfrich and sophomore Addie Hoeme, both returning state medalists who, along with the returning boys, had a good summer of training.
Some new additions to the team were rookie sophomores Luis Orozco, Troy Hamm, and Daisy Herrman, all runners who look to help the team this season.
Incoming freshman Tony Adame, Tayt Myers, Emma Gilpin, and Jenna Haas have been showing a lot of potential as well. Due to their experience in the middle school cross country program, Hitz said they will make great gains and will be making the varsity team stronger.
Her goals for the team are to be competitive in every race and to strive to get better every day.
Coach Hitz was pleased with how the team has been performing so far, and she was anxious to see how they would improve throughout the season.
“My theme this year for the team is ‘Be Coachable, Embrace the Struggle’ and they seem to be taking that to heart. If we do that, they will all have a season to be proud of.”