Holton Cross Country Preview
The Holton High School boys and girls cross country teams are preparing for the upcoming season with their head coach Darin Stous.
This is the 14th season at the helm of the cross country program at Holton High for Stous. He is assisted by coach Jolene Purcell.
“This team will be young, but competitive,’’ coach Stous said. “The runners are looking to push each other to make each other better. Only seven varsity spots are available at each meet and we could have some different varsity runners at each meet.’’
The Wildcat boys team finished in sixth place last season in The Big 7 League and the girls team finished in seventh place.
This season, the Wildcats have 25 athletes on the team. There are seven middle school athletes out for cross country, too.
HHS has nine returning letterwinners this season.
For the boys team, returning letterwinners are Wyatt Marriott (senior), Riley Althauser (junior), Wyatt Nightingale and Kaden Woltje are out for cross country.
Marriott placed 28th at the boys league meet last season and was named First Team All-County by The Holton Recorder
For the girls team, returning letter winners are Taygen Altenburg (junior), Hannah Ent (sophomore), Olivia Mulenga (junior), Paige Paxton (sophomore) and Mary Pritchett (junior) are out for the team.
Ent was a Big 7 All-League runner last season by placing 13th at the girls league meet last season and was named to The Recorder’s First Team All-County team last season. The top 15 runners at the Big 7 Meet are named All-League.
“Rees Robinson is out this season and will be helping out the varsity team,’’ coach Stous said. “This season, we have several freshmen who have been running as middle school runners the last few years and will be helping push for varsity spots as well on both the boys and girls teams.’’
Stous said the cross country runners met over the summer and began working as a team early on.
“This has helped them begin the season with a stronger base than in past seasons,’’ Stous said. “Challenging each other for spots in practice will help make us stronger, along with working together.’’
Coach Stous said Hiawatha and Sabetha are Big 7 League cross country powers each season, it seems, and will be so again this season with Perr-Lecompton, Royal Valley and Jeff-West squads not far behind.
The first cross country meet is set for Thursday, Aug. 30, at Jeff-West (Shawnee North Community Center).