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Cross country rebuilding

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Members of the Comet cross country team, front row, from left, are Emily Conner, Melissa Blanks, Brittany Cole, Jordan Murray, Caitlin Helinski and Cianne Townsend. Back row, coach David Riddle, Larry Taylor, Gannon Griffin, Blake Jones, Zack Evans, Evin Morrison, Taylor Elliott and coach Brady Taylor. Not pictured are Ashley Bowen, Ashley Burton, Stephanie Clark, Cory Rosche, Amanda Dennis and Jason Dennis.
SoVaNow.com / August 27, 2009
The HCHS cross country programs have rebuilding tasks this season, although the girls’ squad has more returnees.

“We are a very young team, with little experience this season, but we have some good athletes that should be able to contribute immediately,”said coach Brady Taylor.

Zack Evans is the only returning runner on the boys’ team, and he will be one of our top runners. The girls return Emily Conner, Brittany Cole and Amanda Dennis. All three we expect to be in the top seven,” said Taylor.

“We are impressed with the newcomers, and we are anxious to get them on a course in a race situation, to see how they perform. coach (David) Riddle and I feel that a top 2 finish in the district is a reachable goal for both the boys and girls teams,” said the Comet coach.

The Comets could use a few more harriers on both teams.

“We would like to pick up a few more runners on each team to give us some more depth, but by October, we will be pretty solid. Right now we are focusing on strength and conditioning, but by October we will be looking to increase speed,” said Taylor.

HCHS had a scrimmage last week, and Taylor said that would give the coaches a chance to assess “where we are compared to where we need to be. It will be a learning experience for many of our runners.”

Boys

Jason Dennis (9) 1st year runner, should help us a lot

Zack Evans (10) 2nd year, should lead the team and compete for all district

Gannon Griffin (9) 1st year, starting to look good

Blake Jones (10) 1st year, should compete for top three on the team

Evan Morrison (9) 1st year, will push Zack for the No. 1 spot on the team

Larry Taylor (9) 1st year, should have a good season

Taylor Elliott (12) 1st year runner. Should help us out a lot once he gets in shape and adjusts to cross country.

Girls

Melissa Blanks (11) 1st year, should help us out a lot

Ashley Bowen (12) 1st year, will be one of our top runners

Ashley Burton (12) 1st year, she’s a natural and can be very good by October

Stephanie Clark (12) 1st year, can really help out the team

Brittany Cole (12) 2nd year, will be in the top seven and compete for top five

Emily Conner (12) 4th year, our most experienced runner, should challenge for all district

Amanda Dennis (12) 2nd year, one of the team leaders

Caitlin Helinski (9) 1st year, Coming along nicely for an inexperienced runner

Jordan Murray (9) 1st year, we expect her to be in the top five

Cianne Townsend (12) 1st year, could surprise a lot of people in the district



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