The Goessel girls’ cross-country team begins the season with 10 girls focused on bettering last year’s sixth-place team finish at the state meet in Wamego.
Seniors Jennifer Meysing and Lauren Rymill and junior Julia Nightengale return to lead this year’s team.
Nightengale ran her fastest race of 2015 at state.
“I was going really fast in some parts and really slow in some parts, so it kind of evened out,” Nightengale said, recalling the hilly course.
Maddy Meier and Edel Miller also return for Goessel, looking to improve on their performances from last year.
Meysing said the team has strong camaraderie.
“Part of the success of this program is that we feel like one big family,” she said. “That made last year at state so enjoyable.”
With 10 members, the Bluebirds will contend for varsity team medals at each meet, and will have the personnel to take advantage of junior varsity competition as well.
First-year runners include Porclein Unruh, Katelyn Olson, Elyse Boden, Maria Fuster and Katherine Manis.
The Goessel boys return state-seasoned senior Devon LeRoy and sophomore Nate Impson.
LeRoy said the team’s success last year provides incentive to improve.
“It was really cool that most everyone on the boys team set a personal record at the Clearwater meet, and that we won the regional meet to qualify for state,” he said.
As a freshman last year, Impson didn’t expect to be competing at Wamego at the end of the season.
“I was really surprised to run at state last year, but since we qualified as a team I got to compete with the best,” he said.
Since the Wheat State League has added Canton-Galva and Herington, a league meet has been added to this year’s schedule.