Holton Cross Country Preview 2020
The Holton Wildcats cross country team is getting ready for the 2020 season with 27 runners on the squad - 15 boys and 12 girls.
The Wildcats’ head coach Travis Thayer is starting his second year with his assistant coaches Jolene Purcell, who is starting her fourth year and Terilyn Bufkin, who is starting her first year.
The Wildcats boys cross country team finished in third place in the Big 7 League last year and the girls cross country team finished in second place in the Big 7 League.
In 2020, the Wildcats have five letterwinners returning on the girls side and six letterwinners returning on the boys side.
The girls team is led by senior Hannah Ent who placed third at the Big Seven League Meet last season (and also was All League as a sophomore), junior Alayna Clayton who placed fourth at the league meet last season (and was also All League as a freshman), senior Paige Paxton who had the third best showing for the girls at the league meet, junior Lillian Mulenga and sophomore Angelica Pol. Ent is a three-time Holton Recorder All Area cross country pick and Clayton is a two-time HoltonRecorder All Area pick
The boys team is led by senior Rees Robinson who placed 10th at the league meet last season, junior Dalton Ashcraft, senior Trevor Bowser, senior Dagan Ruckman, senior Marquez Conley and sophmore Nathan Shupe.
The top 15 placers at the league meet are awarded All League Cross Country honors.
Robinson is a two-time Holton Recorder All Area pick and Ashcraft was an All Area pick last season.
The Wildcats have several top prospects for this year as well as several newcomers.
“We have a lot of new faces on the team this year,” coach Thayer said. “We have Gracie Gallagher, a junior who has experience running cross country. We have Grace Utz, who will bring strong senior leadership. Piper Robinson, Grace Selley, Averi Shupe, Elizabeth Goombi and Katelyn Ingels are all freshmen who will contribute early in their careers.”
“Lee Wellman will bring senior leadership to the boys side while Rylan Pittaway, Landon Kennedy and Jeffery Warner are all incoming freshman boys who will look to make an impact early on,’’ the coach said. “All of these great student athletes bring energy and a strong work ethic. It will be fun to watch them compete and push each other.”
The keys to success this year will be integrating the new athletes with the returning strong core, Thayer said. The team will look to build on a strong season last fall and continue to ride the momentum.
“This year is going to be crazy with health concerns and no track season this past spring, but we are heading into this season with big goals,” Thayer said. “Senior leadership will play a big part in reaching our goals. It is early, but this is a special group of athletes who believe that hard work equals big time success. This year will be one to remember for Holton cross country. The middle school has a strong group of athletes while the high school will have new faces pushing the returners. We are excited to have the continued support from the community and we could not do what we do without them.”
Coach Thayer also reported that 16 runners are out for cross country at the mddle school - 10 boys and six girls.