Girls XC team looks to reload

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MTT News's picture
By: 
Rob Reischel
Kallie Stafford and Middleton’s girls cross country team begin their season Saturday at the Verona Invitational./File photo

Five gifted seniors are gone.

Several talented newcomers are ready to step in.

It’s a year of many unknowns for Middleton’s girls cross country team. But it’s also a year packed with great promise.

“Our first expectation would be for continual improvement throughout the season,” said Middleton co-coach Cindy Bremser, whose team opens the season at the Verona Invite Saturday. “If this happens from top to bottom we will be completive at all levels. 

“Our girls are hard workers and believe in our system, which will only contribute to our success. Many of these girls have worked hard and can see the light at the end of the tunnel.”

Middleton, which fell one point shy of qualifying for state last year, should be in the hunt for a state berth once again.

Senior Sam Valentine is the Cardinals’ top returnee. Valentine ran at state as both a freshman and sophomore, then was slowed by a stress fracture last fall.

“Sam is our most experienced and talented athlete to return,” Bremser said. “She has the experience of running varsity for the past three years and participating at the state meet (twice). She has returned this fall healthy and eager to lead our team.”

Sophomore Charlotte Sue broke through and ran with the varsity last year. This season, expectations will be even higher.

“She runs with confidence and patience and is already where she was at the end of last year,” Bremser said of Sue.

Junior Kallie Stafford jumped from the JV team to the varsity midway through last season. This year, Stafford should be a staple throughout the season.

“She continues to lead with her hard work ethic and will only get better as the season progresses,” Bremser said.

Senior Autumn Grim has varsity experience, as well, and will look to make her final season her best one yet.

“Autumn returns this fall running with the top group and looking fit from all the summer fitness activities,” Bremser said. “She has been a great leader of our young group.”

Bremser also expects several newcomers to make an immediate impact.

Sophomore Erika Rader finished second at the Cardinals’ recent time trials and appears ready for a big year.

“With more experience and trust in her abilities, she will continue to excel,” Bremser said of Rader.

Senior Milena Martin has been a standout on the JV team, and Bremser says, “Now is her time to run with the big girls. Every year she has shown improvement and we think that will continue through out the season.”

Sophomore Iris Ohlrogge was the top JV runner in the Big Eight Conference last year and should be a key member of the Cardinals’ varsity this season.

Junior Morgan Eder appears recovered from various health issues and earned a varsity spot last week.

“Now that she is healthy she is hungry for success and it is apparent every day at workouts,” Bremser said. “Everyone is so excited to see her doing so well.”

Freshman Elizabeth Pansegrau and sophomore Margaret Patterson have great potential and could crack the Cardinals’ seven-person varsity lineup at some point this season.

While Middleton is young and somewhat inexperienced, it’s certainly not lacking for talent. And the Cardinals should be in the hunt for regular season and postseason success once again.

Sun Prairie, which finished third at state last year and returns its entire team, is the conference favorite. Madison Memorial and Madison West figure to be Middleton’s greatest challengers at sectionals.

“We have a very talented and eager group ready to make the next jump,” Bremser said. “Our JV team won JV conference (last year) with a perfect score. 

“Those girls could have run on other conference varsity teams. They are eager and ready for their chance.”

 

 

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