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State title in rear view mirror

Goessel cross-country ready to forge ahead

News editor

Goessel cross-country coach Brian Lightner’s face lights up when he’s asked about last season’s first girls’ state championship for the Bluebirds. He just doesn’t have much to say about it.

“Last year was very special, and that was last year,” he said.

As it should be, Lightner’s focus is on a new season and a new group of runners that features four returners from that state championship squad.

But first there are the boys.

“I’m very excited for the boys,” he said. “This is my first time I’m actually fielding a full team. We have eight out there. We’ll be very young, but there’s potential there.”

Junior Nate Impson gives the boys a runner with state experience. He’ll team with returning sophomores Brody Schroeder and Zack Guerrero and five first-year runners.

Having enough runners to compete for team awards at meets should provide extra motivation, Lightner said.

“Now you’re not just running for yourself, you’re running for your school, you’re running for everyone else that’s on the team,” he said.

On the girls’ side, seniors Julia Nightengale and Maddy Meier will be shooting for their fourth trip to the state meet, bolstered by junior Edel Miller and sophomores Elyse Boden and Porclein Unruh.

While the regular season slate is set, beginning Aug. 31 at Pretty Prairie, increased enrollment could push Goessel up to 2A for regionals, Lightner said.

No matter what class Goessel is in, and whether either team goes to state, Lightner’s primary goal is for each runner to improve athletically and personally, he said.

Last modified Aug. 30, 2017

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