The St. Mary’s Springs girls’ 2012 cross country season could be described as bittersweet.
Yes, they won its fourth straight Flyway Conference title in a row — and yes Liz Bohn was named Flway Player of the Year — but the Ledgers failed to make a trip to state as a team after finishing second in 2011 and third in 2010.
“Last season it was really exciting at the end watching them win their fourth consecutive conference championship, but unfortunately we had an incident where some girls weren’t able to run,” head coach Shane Smith said.
That incident cut the team short on players at sections, and in result, Bohn and graduated senior Abby Busse were the only two to make it to state. While that is now in the past, Smith said the girls will use that as motivation to get back to state.
“We were a little disappointed on not making and it was kind of a step back for us, but it motivated a lot of the girls for this year,” Smith added.
The Ledgers only lost one senior from a season ago, so the thought of getting back to state isn’t improbable.
Bohn returns for her junior season after what she called a ‘down year’. She was named the conference runner of the year after running a school record 14:48 at the conference meet. She finished 14th in the Division 3 meet with a time of 15:36.
“Liz wasn’t satisfied with her season last year, she won a few races but she is very competitive,” Smith said. “She has been working hard and doing extra things all summer. She’ll be ready to go and she has big goals. I know she is able to reach them.”
Others who look to remain to claim their spots back include seniors Bailey Hoch (team captain), Taryn Immel, and sophomores Liz Hoch and Paige Case. Hoch finished 10th in the conference meet last year with a time of 17:05 while Case was right behind her at 13th with a time of 17:11.
Other Ledgers who look to make in impact include Emily McGovern, Morgan Krupp, Caitlyn Fellers and Kelsey Carter.
One newcomer that Smith has his eye in is Alannah Schmitz, a senior who joined the team for the first time after competing in track and field. She was a part of the 3,200-meter relay team that took first place at the state track meet this last spring.
“I’m really looking at the young kids coming on and stepping up,” Smith said.
Smith said the girls are poised and excited to win that fifth conference title in row – a feat that has never been done before in the Flyway Conference.
“We talked about it a little bit all summer, it’s up to the girls and what they want to do,” Smith said. “The potential is there but it’s up to them on how hard they want to work and so far I see that they want to go to state and win that fifth title. That’s a big goal for them.”
Fond du Lac
The Cardinals return six of its eight runners from a season ago, including many who earned all-conference honors.
Coming off a team who finished eight out of nine teams in the Fox Valley Association, the Cardinals should be a much improved team come this season.
They return seniors Erica Daniels, who as a sophomore made first-team and was a individual qualifier for state, along with junior Megan Buechel and sophomore Annie Moore, who earned second-team last season.
Other returners who will contribute include senior Kayla Mueller and juniors Jennifer Sheridan and Jeannie Bestor.
“The girls team is still young with only three seniors,” head coach Brad Theyerl said. “We will most likely have a number of runners on the roster moving around between our No. 3 and 8 positions.”
The Vikings finished sixth in the Flyway Conference a season ago, after the team was affected by the ‘injury bug’ all season long.
Head coach Larry Klukas said the team was always missing two or three players each race, but hopes this season with the teams depth — they won’t have that problem.
“We just had a number of injury issues,” Klukas said. “We could have been a three or four finish. It’s just one of those years, but this season we will have a deep team.”
The Vikings lost its top two runners from a season ago in Mariah Giffey and Abi Theander, but return three players from a season ago.
While the Vikings might not have an elite runner like last season, they have a lot that will compete for the team’s five spots.
“Our girls team is led by senior Courtney Williams, our captain and a four year runner,” Klukas said. “We will also have Kelli Bahls, another senior, with good experience for us running varsity.”
Others who will help out include Bethany Scharf, a senior who is a new runner in with a good track background. Juniors who will run varsity include Marissa Schmitz, Monica Tews, and Nina Schwandt.
The Vikings should also get contributions from sophomore Samantha Freund and freshman Jenna Schmitz.
Klukas said Jenna Schmitz has a chance to be the No. 1 runner because he likes what he sees out of her.
The Spartans have to be happy heading into the new season because they get junior Hailey Isaac back, who finished 17th at the state meet a season ago.
They will lose four seniors from a team that finished second in the Flway, but return four runners who have varsity experience in Brynn Lemond, junior Kayla Jacobs, junior Olivia Ingelhart and Hailey Damell — a senior who missed her junior season with an ACL injury.
Head coach Carrie Julka said a freshman that has the potential to make varsity is Ali Frances.
“She never ran before, but she played middle school volleyball and she has a nice form and is built for running,” Julka said.
The Warriors were short-handed a season ago, running with only five girls after its No. 2 runner broke her toe and a few others suffered concussions to knock them out for the season.
Finishing sixth in the Eastern Wisconsin Conference a season ago, head coach Matt Dickhut expects this year to be a successful one.
He returns all players form a season ago, including seniors Ronna Woock and Nicole Crescio and sophomores Hannah Smith and Liz Schatz. Smith is the team’s top returner after finishing 26th at the conference meet.
Dickhut said freshman Taylor Martinez will have a big impact this season after running well in the middle school program.
“This year we have a few more kids after last year not going as well as we wanted,” Dickhut said. “It’s still a small team but we got all those people back.”
The Cougars enter the 2013 season in rebuilding mode.
Last season the team finished eight in the Eastern Wisconsin Conference and graduated its top runners.
“We will be very young this season and our numbers are low at eight,” head coach Mike Kulibert said. “We are going into the season with the goal of getting a little better each week andgain some experience.”
The Cougars will look at three freshman coming in to build around in Abby Cochran, Ellen Hodny and Toni Hundertmark. Senior Brianna Gruenwald returns for her fourth year running and will look to lead the young class. Other returners include senior Jasmine Stern, sophomores Kirsten Lloyd and Ashley Emmer. Senior Tori Kerkala also joins the team as her first season running.
The Cardinals finished third in the Flyway a season ago, but lose its top runner in Brittany Danner, who finished seventh in the confrence meet.
They return three seniors, and will be quite young having four sophomores and a freshman on the team.
Chantall Danner, Hailey Hoepner and Sam Mastalish are the returning seniors while Erica Wenninger returns as the only junior on the team. Sophomores include Ciara Jarmain, Taylor Mangun, Boolynn Petroselli and Brieanna Huizenga. Clarise Case will be the team’s lone freshman.
North Fond du Lac/Oakfield is coming off an eighth place finish in the Flway.
Central Wisconsin Christian finished 11th out of 11 teams last season in the Trailways Conference.
The Lions finished fourth in the Flyway Conference last season, but will lose its top runner in Ellyn Halley.
Brianna Falk will look to replace Halley as the team’s top runner after she finished 16th last season in the Flyway Conference meet.