Boys needed for cross-country team
The Haines High School boys’ cross-country team needs an infusion of new blood to flesh out a small core of runners, coach Liam Cassidy said this week.
Practice for boys’ and girls’ teams started Aug. 1 and attendance at 10 practices is required to run in the season kick-off Juneau Invitational Aug. 27. Practice is 3:30 p.m. daily at the track.
Eight girls are practicing and Cassidy would like the boys’ team at least as big. Four boys are practicing so far.
"The more people you have out running, the harder people run to qualify for regionals. The more people, the more enthusiasm is generated. It’s really fun for people to have their friends out there."
Wrestling is not an excuse for not running, as the seasons overlap by only a week, he said. "It’s very possible to do both sports. You’d come (into wrestling) in really great shape. And running is a good base for any athletic endeavor," Cassidy said.
Cassidy described the girls’ squad as a "cool mix" of team veterans and new runners. It includes seniors Jackie St. Clair, Elena Horner and Marnie Rasmussen, juniors Jess Giddings and Tia Heywood, sophomores Isobel Smith and Serena Badgley and freshman Zayla Asquith-Heinz.
Boys out so far include senior Quinn Asquith-Heinz, junior Corey Piper, and sophomores Isaac Wing and Chevy Fowler. "Once school starts, hopefully that will swell our numbers. We have such a strong nucleus on the boys’side, it would be a shame to not have a full squad. I’d really like to get some more underclassmen involved. Also, every year we have some seniors who try (the sport) for the first time. That’s always cool to see."
Haines girls placed third and the boys, fourth, at last year’s Southeast championship. The top three teams in the region advance to state.
Haines became a regional powerhouse in cross country after wrestling and girls’ volleyball were discontinued. The sport has had to compete for top athletes since those sports were resurrected.
Meets this year include at Wrangell Sept. 3, at home on Sept. 9, the regional championship Sept. 24 in Ketchikan and the state championship at Bartlett High School in Anchorage, Oct. 1. For more information, contact Cassidy at 303-0751.
Lilly Boron is serving as assistant coach.