The Archbold cross country team has the potential to achieve great things in the 2019 season.
The girls squad returns many productive runners from last year’s group that took third at the state meet in Division III. They get back five of their top seven runners.
“We have great experience at those high level meets and we have depth,” said head coach Rachel Kinsman. “We have added some great freshmen and a transfer that will help us tremendously.”
Returning for the Blue Streaks are Kylie Sauder, Karley Ramirez, Camryn Hudson, Brittney Ramirez, Delaney Garrow, Montana Stamm, Regan Ramirez and Shylo Richardson. Sauder is Archbold’s most notable returnee as she finished 12th in the state a year ago.
Along with their own returnees, the Streaks are adding Chloe Merillat who was a regional qualifier for Fayette in 2018. Other newcomers include Alison Roehrig, Annika DeLong, Meg Mellow, Natalie Seibert and Sophie Rupp.
However, they lose Dakota Stamm, Gwynne Riley, Natalie Roth and Caitlyn Beldon.
“A weakness that will play a part this year is there may be a bigger gap between a few of the runners, but that is something we will work on throughout the season,” explained Kinsman.
Archbold is looking for a three-peat in terms of the Northwest Ohio Athletic League. They won the title in 2017 and 2018.
“The girls will be gunning for another NWOAL title this year but our league is always competitive so we will have to be ready,” said Kinsman. “Once we get to district, our goal will be to be (one of) those top teams to move on each week and return to the state meet again this year.”
The boys team lost four seniors but has some young talent looking to fill the void.
Returning are Elijah Schumacher, Rhett Hudson, Brady Johns, Kenny Walker, Daniel Oyer, Weston Ruffer, Andrew Francis, Ivan Cobb, Adam Walker, Devin Witte and Dawson Liechty.
Newcomers are Noah Cheney, Miles Rupp, Edward Rash, Aden McCarty, Ethan Stuckey, Corbin Stamm, Landon Stamm, Dane Riley, Jackson Beck and Ben Dowdy.
“We have a strong group of returning athletes who are ready to be leaders,” said Kinsman of the boys team. “We add in a large and talented group of freshmen and some newcomers that will add some depth to our team.”
Gone from last year are Hunter Beaverson, Caden Garrow, Brendon Johns and Josh Kidder. Garrow took 11th at the district meet where he just missed on qualifying for the regional.
“Not having a dominant front runner will be a weakness that we will work on,” noted Kinsman. “These athletes have the potential to be up there when it counts.”
Archbold has not won a NWOAL boys cross country title since 2011. While it may be hard for the Streaks to win the league this season, they will certainly give it their best shot.
“The NWOAL will be competitive as always,” said Kinsman. “Our guys will look to break into that top three finish as a team in the league this season. Focusing on running as a group and helping each other throughout practices so we can do the same in races.”
Archbold hosts an invitational this Saturday starting at 9 a.m.
Reach Max Householder at 419-335-2010