2023-2024 Holton Wildcats Cross Country Preview
By Michael Powls
The Holton Wildcat girls and boys cross country teams have a new head coach as Terilyn Seele has taken over for Travis Thayer.
Seele was an assistant coach for Holton for the last four years. Her assistant coaches this year are Jolene Purcell and Corrin Tanking. Thayer was the head cross country coach at HHS for four seasons. He is now the head cross country coach at Andover High.
The Wildcat girls team took second place as a team at the Big Seven League meet last year and the boys took fourth place as a team at the Big Seven meet. The Wildcat boys team had Jacob Warner qualify for the Class 4A state cross country meet at the Wamego Country Club.
This year, Holton has 13 returning letter winners:
Seniors Rylan Pittaway, Grace Selley, Elizabeth Goombi, Jeff Warner and Katelyn Ingels.
Juniors Brayden Peek, Carter Meerpohl, Eva Cortez, Abigail Schlodder, Sophia Goombi, Daniel Callahan, Jacob Warner and Dalton Peters.
Coach Seele said that Rylan Pittaway and Grace Selley will be the team captains this year.
“They are athletes the others look up to, and have shown a great commitment throughout our summer workouts this year,” coach Seele said. “Eva Cortes made a huge leap in this past track season, and is already making gains this summer.”
“We have a couple of newcomers that I’m excited about this year, the coach added. “Sophomore Kennedy Smith has come throughout the summer, and has shown to be a hard worker, while running alongside our top girl runners. Junior Maya Doney is new to the school district and will be a huge asset to our team. She competed at State XC last year at Meade High School.”
“The key to our success will be hard work, effort and dedication. Cross country training is not for the weak,” coach Seele said. “It is tough mentally and physically. These athletes show up all throughout the summer to prepare for the upcoming season and continue to push themselves once school starts.”
Coach Seele said the Holton cross country program has come a long way the past couple of years. The coaching staff believes that this season will be full of youth and major achievements.
“The goals for this fall are to be in the top two teams at the league meet for both girls and boys and to make an appearance at state,’’ Seele said. “We also expect to have multiple top five finishes at middle school league. I know that we will continue to carry the momentum throughout this year and achieve great things.’’