Aurora -- The Greenmen cross country team for 2013 features many new faces -- 30 to be exact -- but coach Laura Bell said the roster of 77 is the biggest in her tenure. "Many of our runners are first-timers to cross country," she noted.
The team also has two new assistant coaches -- Jared Priset and Jennifer Simmerman.
"I am looking forward to working with both of them," said Bell. "They are successful marathon runners who have competed at Boston and have a love and passion for running."
The duo replaces Jessica Treblas and volunteer coach Ricky Buoncore, who were around for the past three seasons. "They will be deeply missed," said Bell. Treblas plans to spend time with her family, while Buoncore is entering the fire academy for training.
Bell said last year's team had some key losses, several of whom will run for college teams this fall.
Included are D.J. Lieberth, who will run at Edinboro University, Cameron Posner at Oberlin College and Josh Marchese at Mount Union University in Alliance.
"Several of the graduating girls had offers to run at the college level, but have chosen to focus on their academics and run in their spare time," said Bell.
"We are very excited to see how our athletes will perform in their first race either at the Berkshire Earlybird or Walsh," said Bell. "They've been raining since the second week in June.
"This year we were able to have access to Hawthorn's pool for some workouts. We are no longer running through the streets of Aurora, but at the former Aurora Golf Club, which has provided a challenging course for training."
Bell said the team has set some large goals for this season. "We know there are a lot of naturally gifted and talented athletes on the team," she said. "The question will be if they are willing to perform to their potential and stay healthy in the process."
A LOOK AT THE BOYS
Bell said the team will look toward junior Andrew Swan for leadership. "He's in great shape and is hungry for success," she said.
Seniors Daniel Sovich, Logan Gross, Jack Petroski, Stephen Riley, Noah Wordell and Cameron Schnell also have been training over the summer and hope to be key players.
Bell said juniors Tristan White and Josh Whitelaw could be a big help, while sophomores Jack Brown, Austin Biggs, Sam Flowers, David Intihar and Zach Francisco are showing real potential.
"We are excited to have freshmen Gaven Baker, Scott Carlson, Ian Houston, Zach Jenkins, David Meredith, Matt Peluso and Tommy Micatrotto on the team," said Bell.
Returning runners who also show promise are Garrett Aini, Kyle Baldwin, Ryan Carey, Trent Deanna, Brian Evans, Dane Fellenstein, Jon Fogarty, Josh Kane, James Matras, Brandon Miller, Brett Poremba, Ben Sender, Ryan Sharafuddin and Joel Stell.
A LOOK AT THE GIRLS
Bell said the girls are very young, with 21 of 37 being freshmen or sophomores and 17 new to the high school program.
Returnees who the team will toward for leadership are seniors Deanna Calder, Deja Davis, Lauren Hunt, Isabella Pollack, juniors Dana Cassidy, Allison Jenkins and Swan and sophomores Emily Keller, Jacqueline Caputo, Emily Cymanski, Katie Cymanski, Morgan Miller and Sammy Miller.
Those returning who show promise are Sammi DiGeronimo, Taylor Fritzsche, Kelsey Kadow, Olivia Pollack, Maiko Reed, Emily Studer and Melina Teichow.
"We are really excited to see what junior Michela Palma and freshmen Marissa Henderson, Samantha Grohe and Abbey Stechler will do," said Bell.
"The girls continue to push the returning varsity athletes during workouts and team runs," said Bell. "In addition, we look forward to seeing what Kaylin Anderson, Nicole DiDomenico, Haley Gromack, Logan Huffman, Abigail Jensen, Brooke Kozar, Rachelle Love, Sarah Marchese, Megan Maull, Megan Phillips, Sydney Pinney and Brittany Schambach can do, as they are new to cross country."
"Both teams show a lot of promise and potential, and it's going to be a really exciting year," summarize Bell. "Each workout, we get more excited to see the first race of the season, because at this moment anything can happen."
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