The Fayette cross country team returns a multitude of athletes as the Eagles look to build of last year’s success.
Their boys won a Buckeye Border Conference title in 2018 while the girls finished runner-up to Pettisville. Also, the boys advanced to regional as a team.
Returning from that squad are Brett Merillat (state qualifier, first team All-BBC), Quinn Mitchell (regional qualifier, first team All-BBC), Elijah Lerma (regional qualifier, first team All-BBC), Caden Colegrove (honorable mention all-league), Gavin Stambaugh (honorable mention all-league), Eli Eberly (honorable mention all-league), Tyrese Pearson (honorable mention all-league), Drew Bearegard, Xavier Sturgeon, Austin Fetterman and Gabe Maginn.
“We have very good leaders in our seniors Brett, Caden and Gabe. We have postseason team experience and Brett has state experience also,” said head coach Bryan Stambaugh.
“Hope it to be one of the best (seasons) our program has seen,” he added.
Newcomers for the boys are Chase Moats, Demetrius Whiteside, and Tyler Tussing. A weakness for the Eagle boys is youth, according to coach Stambaugh.
“Half our team are sophomores and freshmen,” he said.
However, they should have a chance at another BBC title if they “run well.”
For the girls, their coach is taking a more modest approach. “I look to see the girls improve their times steadily over the season,” said Stambaugh on his outlook for the season.
Returning for the Eagles are Amber Gaona (regional qualifier, first team all-league), Jillian Figgins (second team all-league), Miah Beaurgard (honorable mention all-league) and Emma Leininger (honorable mention all-league).
“Good leadership with Amber and Jillian,” said Stambaugh on strengths for the season.
Newcomers for the girls team are Hannah Kovar and Zalexyia Sturgeon.
Low numbers is the main weakness for the Fayette girls. In addition, they lose Chloe Merillat who was third at the BBC meet and took ninth in the district last season.
As it relates to the BBC race, Stambaugh would take a repeat of last year for his girls. He said he hopes they finish in the top three this season.
Fayette, who has already begun its season, is in action Saturday at the Columbus Grove Invitational.
Reach Max Householder at 419-335-2010