Ocean City Today

Experienced vets to lead Decatur girls’ XC squad

Number of new runners join boys’ team for ‘17 season
By Managing Editor, Lisa Capitelli | Aug 31, 2017
Photo by: Lisa Capitelli Members of the Stephen Decatur cross country program warm up on Monday afternoon at the Berlin school. The girls’ squad has depth with a number of veterans returning, while the boys’ team welcomes many new runners.

(Sept. 1, 2017) The Stephen Decatur girls’ cross country team returns a number of experienced varsity veterans this year, while the boys’ squad welcomes many new runners.

“The girls’ team has a little more consistency and depth. The boys’ team is really young, but I think they will continue to get better as the season goes on,” said sixth-year Coach Jody Stigler. “So far they look good. They’ve been working hard during the summer. We’ll get a better idea of what we have this year after the first meet. The goal is to improved and get better every day.”

There are about 20 girls and 20 boys participating in cross country this season. Stigler said many of the returning runners and upperclassmen are working with the younger athletes and are doing a good job getting to know them and including them in activities.

Stigler will count on senior Jack Reimer to lead the boys’ team.

“He’s been the strongest so far. I think Jack will be good for us and do even better than last year,” Stigler said. “I’m looking for the other boys to be able to close the gap and run with him and push him as the season goes on. The boys seem to be working hard and want to do well.”

Reimer has been a member of the team since his freshman year. He earned All-Bayside honors for placing top 15 during the conference championship meet in 2016. He finished 13th overall.

“I’m one of the only seniors. I feel like I’ll be able to lead really effectively, with my experience and encourage them and teach them the ropes,” he said. “I’ve trained really hard this summer. I’m just ready to see what I can do on the course.

“My personal goals are to do well in the big meets and probably place top five at Baysides,” he continued. “For the team, do well in smaller meets, get the freshmen experience and make a run at Baysides.”

Stigler said he expects to see new faces and younger boys scoring points for the Seahawks this season, including sophomore Austin Cheynet.

“He’s been doing pretty well. He could maybe be our No. 2 runner,” Stigler said.

Junior Kailey Andrews is one of the top returners for the Lady Seahawk squad. She earned All-Bayside accolades for placing ninth during the conference championship meet last year. She also led the team during the 3A East Regional meet, crossing the finish line 41st overall.

Stigler said he has been impressed with junior Dori Krasner during preseason. Seniors Laila Mirza and Lily Belle Baker return as well.

Stigler said newcomers, freshman Mary Mergott and junior Erika Hicks, have also performed well over the last few weeks.

“There’s a few other girls who will step up as the season goes on,” Stigler said. “I think we have more girls who will be able to run closer, bundled together. There won’t be such a big gap between runners.”

Mirza, a member of the team since her freshman year, hopes to be able to encourage her teammates and give them a boost of confidence.

“When I started out that’s what the seniors did for me. I know starting out it’s really hard, running all the time, running long distances and fast,” she said. “I think we’re all really eager to do well and to push ourselves. We’re pushing ourselves a lot further and harder than we thought we could. We do have some really good seasoned veterans on the team and some really promising freshmen. I think it’s going to be a good season.”

Mirza said she would like to get her mile time down and see the team do well in the Bayside meet.

Sept. 6: North Carline course, 4 p.m.

Sept. 13: Cambridge course, 3 p.m

Sept. 20: Decatur course, 4 p.m.

Sept. 27: Salisbury City Park, 4 p.m.

Oct. 4: Tidewater Fall Classic, Salisbury, 3:45 p.m.

Oct. 11: Decatur course, 4 p.m.

Oct. 18: at Pocomoke, 4 p.m.

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