The Archbold cross country team has the potential to do great things this season, particularly their girls.
The Bluestreaks return almost their entire team from last year, a group that finished fifth at the regional meet to qualify for state.
“We have 6 of our top 7 that competed at the state meet last year back,” said head coach Rachel Kinsman on the strengths of her girls. “We have great experience at those high level meets and we have depth.”
Coming back for the Streaks are Dakota Stamm, Gwynne Riley, Caitlyn Beldon, Natalie Roth, Camryn Hudson, Kylie Sauder, Brittney Ramirez, Delaney Garrow, Montana Stamm, Regan Ramirez and Shylo Richardson. They lose Rosalyn Flores and Elizabeth Schmucker.
“A weakness that will play a part in the years to come is only having one freshman,” explained Kinsman. “We will lose a very talented senior class this year and will have some big shoes to fill.”
That freshman is newcomer Karley Ramirez.
Look for Archbold to have a good chance at repeating as Northwest Ohio Athletic League champs in 2018.
“The girls are looking for another NWOAL title again this year but our league is always competitive so we will have to be ready,” said the Bluestreak mentor. “Once we get to district our goal will be to (be in with) those top teams to move on each week and return to the state meet again this year.”
Less is known about how the good the boys can be this season. They return 11 letter winners, but that is from a team that finished sixth in the league a year ago.
“Great group of returning athletes who are ready to be leaders,” said Kinsman on the boys team. “We add in a talented group of freshmen and some newcomers that will add some depth to our team.”
Returning for the Bluestreak boys are Hunter Beaverson, Caden Garrow, Brendon Johns, Dawson Liechty, Brennan Short, Devin Witte, Adam Walker, Ben Oyer, Ivan Cobb, Andrew Francis and Weston Ruffer. They will have to replace Adam Kinsman, Bryson Taylor, Eli Wyse and Noah Blankenship.
“Not having a dominant front runner will be a weakness that we will work on,” said Kinsman. “These athletes have the potential to be up there when it counts.”
Newcomers looking to fill the void for the Streaks are senior Josh Kidder, junior Noah Garcia, sophomore Daniel Oyer, and freshmen Rhett Hudson, Brady Johns, Elijah Schumacher and Kenny Walker.
There isn’t much further the Streaks can fall in terms of the league race, having finished sixth in 2017. They are hopeful last year’s experience pays dividends.
“The NWOAL will be competitive as always,” said Kinsman. “Our guys will look to improve on their sixth place finish in the league last season. Our league is very tough and every point counts.”
Archbold hosts their first meet of the season Saturday, Sept. 8 at 9 a.m.
Reach Max Householder at 419-335-2010