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2012 Cross Country Preview Capsules

BOYS
NORTHWEST LEAGUE

ARBOR VIEW
Head coach:
Jeff Bzoskie, second season
Returning lettermen: Three
Top athletes: Ryan Meservey (Sr.), Harrison Kelley (So.), Quinn Gallagher (So.)
Outlook: Along with the three returnees, the Aggies also bring in juniors Cole Jones and Jordan Comish. Jones played soccer last season, and Comish participated in football.

“We hope to put it all together in time to be in the top five in the region,” Bzoskie said.

DURANGO
Head coach:
Jim Holben, 13th season
Returning lettermen: Three
Top athletes: Sami Mesgun (Sr.), Michael Shaffer (Sr.), Gianni Giancola (Sr.), Marlon Medina (So.), Juwan Williams (Fr.), Michael Anderson (So.), Daniel Caswell (So.)
Outlook: The Trailblazers are young, with three sophomores and a freshman among the top seven.

“I’m looking for an improvement over last year’s performances,” Holben said.

NORTHEAST LEAGUE

GREEN VALLEY
Head coach: Blaine Thompson, 10th season
Returning lettermen: Eight
Top athletes: Michael Patrino (Sr.), Tyler Fyock (Sr.), Jesse Rodgers (Sr.), Carlton Herbert (Sr.), Nick Rudolph (Sr.), Ben Stock (So.), Ryan Tingle (So.), Tyler Zurcher (So.)
Outlook: The Gators lost three quality runners in Doug Harris, Christian Fortner and Alex Bylina, but bring back three others who finished in the top 21 in last year’s Class 4A Sunrise Region meet.

Patrino finished, seventh, Fyock 20th and Stock 21st in the region meet and will be expected to lead a talented group.

“Our expectations are to win the Northeast League, qualify for state and compete for the Sunrise Region title,” Thompson said.

SOUTHEAST LEAGUE

CORONADO
Head coach:
Mark Tondryk, seventh season
Top athletes: Alan Ekanger (Sr.), Alex Tarangul (Sr.), Wyatt Ihmels (Sr.), Mark Hickey (Sr.), Nick Bosse (Sr.)
Outlook: Ekanger placed sixth in the Class 4A state meet last year and leads a group that has high hopes.

“The boys have some experience returning and should compete for a spot in the state meet,” Tondryk said.

ELDORADO
Head coach:
Josh Wertheimer, fifth season
Top athlete: Eddie Esquivel (Jr.)
Outlook: Esquivel placed 14th in the Sunrise Region meet last year and will lead a squad that hopes to improve as the season progresses.

LIBERTY
Head coach:
Pam Schultz, first season
Returning lettermen: Five
Top athlete: Colin Schultz (Sr.)
Outlook: Colin Schultz will return after placing 23rd in the Sunrise Regional last year. He’ll be asked to lead a squad that is hoping to show improvement.

“The boys team will be competitive this year, as there are several that have markedly improved over last year and they are close together in time,” coach Schultz said.

DIVISION I-A SUNRISE

CHAPARRAL
Head coach:
Cynthia Ziegler, fifth season
Returning lettermen: Five
Top athletes: Ricardo Salas (Jr.), Donnie White (Sr.), Elijah Cooper (Sr.), Jose Ortiz (Jr.), Nick Pearson, Oscar Trujillo.
Outlook: The Cowboys bring back five lettermen and hope to be more competitive this season.

Ziegler said Salas has improved and will be a top runner, and White is expected to contribute as a newcomer to the program.

GIRLS
NORTHWEST LEAGUE

ARBOR VIEW
Head coach
: Tyrel Cooper, eighth season
Returning letterwinners: Three
Top athletes: Zanae Jones (Jr.), Karli Miller (Sr.), Lauren Guffey (Sr.)
Outlook: On paper, the Aggies had the potential for a banner season. But that was before losing one runner to soccer, another to academics, and having two others opt not to run.

“Zanae will be our top runner, but we will be very young and in experienced beyond that,” Cooper said. “Our younger talent has shown a lot of promise over the summer, and we will need them to compete for a trip to the state meet.”

DURANGO
Head coach:
Jim Holben, 13th season
Returning letterwinners: Three
Top athletes: Virginia Salazar (Sr.), Amanda Maloney (So.), Leticia Salazar (Fr.), Ana Ward (So.), Andrea Close (Fr.), Andrea Lopez (Fr.), Courtney Lugo (So.)
Outlook: Among the top seven, Virginia Salazar is the only upperclassman.

“We are fairly young, but this team could be better than last year” Holben said. “I’m hoping to build for the future.”

NORTHEAST LEAGUE

GREEN VALLEY
Head coach:
Mark Fordney
Returning letterwinners: Five
Top athletes: Lindy Eskin (Jr.), Stacie Hall (Jr.), Sage Andress (Sr.), Mackenzie Zurcher (So.), Marisa Davidson (Jr.)
Outlook: The Gators bring back two of the top seven and four of the top 19 finishers in last year’s Sunrise Region meet.

Eskin finished sixth, one spot ahead of Zurcher, and both should be among the region’s best again this year.

“Our expectations are to win the Northeast League, qualify for state and compete for the Sunrise Region title,” Fordney said.

SOUTHEAST LEAGUE

CORONADO
Head coach:
Mark Tondryk, seventh season
Top athletes: Sara Dort (Jr.), Taylor Lauten (Jr.), Kristen Merrill (Sr.), Logan Lucas (Jr.), Emma Czerwinski (Jr.)
Outlook: The Cougars return four of the top 16 finishers from last year’s Sunrise Region meet.
Dort is the defending Sunrise champion.

“The girls are strong and hope to win their six straight region title,” Tondryk said. “The are all equally strong and led by Sara Dort.”

ELDORADO
Head coach: Zeola Braxton, fifth season
Top athlete: Gaby Vazquez (Sr.)
Outlook: Vazquez placed 29th in the Sunrise Region meet last year and will lead a squad that has improved depth and hopes to build for the bigger races late in the year.

LIBERTY
Head coach:
Pam Schultz, first season
Returning letterwinners: Four
Top athlete: Kayla Herrera (Sr.)
Outlook: Herrera placed 14th in the Sunrise Region meet for the Patriots, who did not field a full team in the meet.

Liberty has 10 runners on its roster, but Herrera is the lone senior.

“The girls team is very young,” Schultz said. “Freshman Elizabeth Noel, who has only been running for a month is keeping up with our No. 1 runner in workouts, so there is some exciting potential there.”

DIVISION I-A SUNRISE

CHAPARRAL
Head coach:
Cynthia Ziegler, fifth season
Returning letterwinners: Three
Top athletes: Jenny Berrelleza (Jr.), Linda Sue Luchsinger (So.), Vanessa Braunstein, Desiree Sheck
Outlook: The Cowboys have only three letter winners back, but Ziegler is hoping that Luchsinger will qualify for state. She also expects Berrelleza to be a top runner.

DIVISION III

THE MEADOWS
Head coach:
Charles Bernick, ninth season
Returning letterwinners: Four
Top athletes: Jeneke Heerema (So.), Bailey Gosse (So.), Krista Thompson (So.)
Outlook: The Mustangs return only four runners and are young with only three seniors on a 10-person roster.

Gosse and Heerema each won a state title in distance running in track, and Thompson placed sixth in the state cross country meet last year.

“There is a youth movement at The Meadows,” Bernick said.
 

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