Team: Pleasant Ridge cross country
Last year’s top finishes: Ridge girls finished first at Delaware Valley League meet and seventh at 3-2-1A State meet.
Coach: Chad Hendrix
Key returners: Tony Weber, junior; second at conference, first at regionals and 29th at state
Rachel Hattok, junior; second at conference, second at regionals and 21st at state
Carly Simonis, sophomore; ninth at conference and 12th at regionals
Sarah Ling, senior; 13th at conference and 21st at regionals
Team Outlook: STRENGTHS — The Lady Rams have built off the momentum of last year’s top 10 state team finish with a strong summer showing during its conditioning program according to Hendrix. The effort has not only pushed the returning runners to better times, but has also developed depth throughout its ranks.
On the boys side, junior Tony Weber has taken on a leadership role that Hendrix feels is doing a “good job of pushing and motivating the other guys.” Look for Weber to improve upon his 29th individual finish at state in 2011.
WEAKNESSES — A lot of experience has been lost from both sides of last year’s squad, leading the opening few weeks of competition to be a trial by fire for many of the Ram runners.
Big games: Wamego Invitational, Sept. 8; Tonganoxie Invitational, Sept. 18; Horton Invitational, Sept. 27; DVL League meet, Oct. 11
Coach says: “I am very excited about the upcoming season because I have seen a lot of positive things from my team throughout the summer. They have put in a lot of miles to get ready for this season and worked extremely hard. This team is very motivated to have a great season. They are hoping to build off the success that they had last fall and plan to reach new goals in the 2012 cross country season. I am looking forward to seeing their hard work pay off.”