When the Abilene cross-country teams hits the trails at the Abilene Great Life Golf Course next week, head coach Andy Cook will be counting on seniors Aaron Geissinger and Annie Bathurst to lead their squads.
“We have a good group of returners with past success with Aaron and Annie,” Cook said. “We also have a strong core of underclassmen and new runners.”
The Cowboys should return several with experience as Geissinger, Austin Mather, Max Dunnam and Triston Stover all return for their final season. Sophomores Thurman Geissinger and Toben Schwarz also return for the Cowboys.
For the first time in several years, the Cowgirls will have competition to make the top five runners. Bathurst is the lone senior of the group but junior Allison Liby is back after a successful sophomore campaign.
The Cowgirl squad was the hardest hit by graduation, as Cook will have to fill in spots vacated by state medalist Sydney Burton and the successful careers of Abby Barnes and Megan Anquiano.
Junior Bailey Rock adds some much needed depth for the Cowgirls as she comes off an award winning track and field season as a distance runner. Sophomores Alice Bathurst and Aelyn Aravelo-Pecina along with junior Destiny Sprouse and freshman Kristen Stroda round out the Cowgirl hopefuls for coach Cook and his assistants Tyler Bryson and Arianne Seidl. Stroda had a solid cross-country season a year ago for the Abilene Longhorns.
The Cowboys will have battles to make the varsity as sophomores Miqueas Mazo, Javin Welsh and Cooper Wuthnow join newcomer junior Blaise McVan to the team. Also, the coaches will count on some talented freshmen in Grant Waite, Casey Hamilton, Gavin Sykes and Dayton Wuthnow to push the upperclassmen. Waite had an outstanding two years on the Longhorn cross-country team.
Abilene begins the season by hosting their annual Abilene Invitational on Thursday, Sept 5 at the Great Life Abilene Golf Course.
Abilene Cross-Country 2019
Sept 5 Abilene Invitational
Sept 12 at Holton
Sept 14 at Wamego
Sept 19 at Clay Center
Sept 24 at Southeast of Saline
Oct 3 at Beloit
Oct 8 at Ellsworth
Oct 17 NCKL at Abilene
Oct 26 at Regional – TBD
Nov 2 at State – Wamego