NU cross country -young, but ready to run |

NU cross country -young, but ready to run

Nevada Union cross country coach Dan King heard that one polling guru has already tabbed his boys team as the ones to beat in the section in 2003.

“I thought, ‘Come on, let’s get through this year first,'” King said.

There might be a great deal to savor with both the boys and girls cross country teams this fall. Though many of the athletes in the cross country program have yet to obtain a driver’s license, the young Miners squad has moved one year closer to being in the driver’s seat of the Metro Conference for both the boys and girls teams.

“This is probably the most talented boys team that I have ever had,” King said. “I know we have had great teams in the past, but this is a very talented group of kids, committed to the program. From what I see right now – and I hate to make predictions – we are probably the leading candidate for the Metro Conference title.”

King said the boys team, currently ranked sixth in the Sac-Joaquin section, will face its strongest challenge from Woodland, McClatchy and Kennedy. Last year, the program competed in the Capital Athletic League, with the boys team finishing third.

“It would be interesting to be in the same league as Davis and Del Campo again this year,” King said. “Woodland has an established program, but depth-wise, I don’t thing the Metro will be as strong as the old CAL.”

The boys team is loaded with junior talent, with King saying the top five runners have a shot at finishing in the top five slots of the conference championship.

Troy Putman, Matt Freitas, Luke Ridens, Trevor Robertson, Patrick Lane, Michael McClure and Brian Dell lead a team that will rely on depth to do its winning this season.

“I don’t believe we have a front-runner, but we have a solid, in-depth group,” King said. “We will just kill people when it comes to third through seventh place.”

King said the youthful girls team, which last weekend easily won the frosh-soph meet at the Granite Bay Invitational, joins McClatchy and Kennedy as the best shots to challenge a strong Woodland team for league honors this year.

The team will be led by sophomores Shannon Lingo, Karly Powell, Maddie Sheffield, Shawnee Putman and transfer student Caitlin Schultheiff.

Also expected to have a big impact on the Miners’ fortunes are freshman Randi Fairweather, who last week was named the team’s athlete of the week, and freshman Lucie McKirdy, who finished sixth in the frosh-soph meet at Granite Bay.

“Imagine what we can do with those kids in the next few years,” King mused. “For us coaches, we are just ecstatic they are working as hard as they are this early in the year.”

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