Royal Valley Cross Country Preview 2019
The Royal Valley Panther cross country team is in its third year with Nathan Smith as head coach. Dustin Gunter has joined the team as an assistant coach, it was reported.
This is coach Smith’s 13th year coaching and 10th year coaching in the Big Seven League, he said.
Last year, the Panther girls team finished in sixth place at the Big 7 League meet and the boys finished in fourth place.
“Last year was my first year of not having a runner qualify for state, but we still had some success,’’ Smith said. “Nue Tinajero finished second in the league and went to state two years ago. An injury hampered him last year but I expect him to be one of the contenders (for an individual league title) this year.’’
Smith said Nahcs Wahwassuck and Calvin Ogden were freshmen last year who performed well on the Panther varsity team.
“They will help lead this year’s team as sophomores,’’ Smith said. “We have four freshmen on this year’s team that could run with the varsity, too.’’
“Jaemon Smith is probably my fourth runner right now,’’ the coach said. “Garrett Hammer is in the top seven and Daniel Coleman and Quinton Nelson will be solid runners, too. We have some really good runners in the sophomore and freshmen classes. Holden Mundy is a senior who was varsity last year and he will help anchor the program again.’’
Coach Smith also mentioned junior Jack Wiedmann, who ran with the varsity last year, junior Quo-Jon Tye and sophomore Antonio Greenmore-Hopkins as standouts on the boys team that has 18 runners.
On the girls side, coach Smith said senior Chloe Richter is the top runner of the 13 “if she can get healthy,’’ he said.
“Sophomore Catrina Smith is finally healthy and will contend for state, I believe,’’ the coach said. “Sophomore Lily Cannon will be solid again this year and freshmen Cheyenne Hittle and Erica Schnacker will provide some punch along with sophomore Kaylee Andrews. Junior Sydney Stithem is new to the program and could also provide some depth.’’
“We are very young on both teams and have 14 runners in the middle school,’’ coach Smith said. “The next couple of years will be fun!’’
Tinajero was All-League in cross country for the Panther boys last year and was also a first team All-County pick.
Richter and Cannon were second team All-County picks for the Panther girls.
“Our keys to success this year will revolve around health and belief,’’ the coach said. “We have some really good runners and Nue Tinajero is the best male runner I have ever coached. I truly believe he can compete for a state medal. If our squads believe they can compete, we will have a chance to make it to state as a team, but barring injuries, we definitely have some individual talent that will run at Rim Rock at the state championships.’’
The following runners are listed on the RV cross country roster:
Seniors are Christian McAlister, Holden Mundy, Chloe Richter, Nue Tinajero and Samantha Riley.
Juniors are Isaac Hale, Hayley Harman, Preston Torres, Quo-Jon Tye, Jack Wiedman, Brevin Canady, Linda Sowers and Sydney Stithem.
Sophomores are Lily Cannon, Antonio Greemore-Hopkins, Kaylee Klem-Andrews, Calvin Ogden, Catrina Smith, Breauna Jewell, Mason Thomas, Ruben Tinajero, Nahcs Wahwassuck, Breauna Jewell and Audrey Pamaska.
Freshmen are Daniel Coleman, Garrett Hammer, Cheyenne Hittle, Aven Mitchell, Quinton Nelson, Sherena Penry, Erica Schnacker and Jaemon Smith.