The Star Beacon; Ashtabula, Ohio

Sports

August 28, 2013

2013 Area Girls CC Preview: Off and running

Area girls ready for strong cross country season

(Continued)

Geneva

The Eagles return four letterwinners to the team, but two of them can run with the lead pack in nearly every race they enter in senior Hailey VanHoy and junior Emily Deering.

Those two will be charged with showing the younger runners the way.

“Our team leaders must run consistent and help develop our younger runners,” coach Matt Deering said.

Juniors Julia Hanchosky and Kayla Nieset also won letters a season ago.

Joining the fray this year will be freshmen Emma Hanchosky, Kaylee Thomas, Holly Engel and Brianna Nichols.

The Premier Athletic Conference will be a fun race to watch.

“Many great coaches and teams this year will make for a competitive season,” Matt Deering said.

Grand Valley

Grand Valley coach Kurtis Fisher has just five runners in his program, but four of them have at least a full season of varsity experience under their belts.

“I have young but experienced girls coming back and I am excited to see how we move forward,” Fisher said.

Returning for the Mustangs are senior Tylor Whitely and sophomores Jessica Finley, Hannah Gage and Lauren Harrison.

Joining the team this season is freshman Leah Lynch.  

Finley has a chance to be the Northeastern Athletic Conference champion. The remainder of the Mustangs also have a chance to make some noise.

“I feel Jessica will be strong again this year and we have some girls rising to the challenge to move up in the pack,” Fisher said.

Jefferson

Coach Steve Locy’s Falcons are the most experienced team in Ashtabula County with nine letterwinners returning to the team.

Back with the team in 2013 are top runner Colleen O’Connor, a senior, juniors Hannah Cole, Shannon Perkins, Deanna Comp, Delaney Giantonio and Jessica Stranman and sophomores Courtney Fularz, Leah Kingston and Lauren Buzzard.

“Finding runners to step up behind Colleen O’Connor (is a key to our success),” Locy said. “We have some girls with potential and who are athletic they just have to work to be a good runner. So much depends on girls giving one hundred percent and staying healthy.”

Joining the team this season are seniors Katie DeVivo, Sarah Brook, Samantha Burnett and Bernadette Geraghty, junior McKenzie Wilber and freshmen Samantha Kingston and Alexis Pacholke.

The AAC will be a tough conference for the Falcons.

“Girard is one of the top teams in the state and has their top three girls returning,” Locy said. “League is tough, but I hope to challenge how the girls will respond.”

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