Wilmington senior Simon Heys looks to repeat as the SBAAC American Division boys cross country champion this fall.
The WHS record holder and state qualifier heads a list of eight returning runners for the Hurricane, including Tyler Parks, Ricky Dungan, Calvin Walls, Pedro Escobedo, Cameron Combs and Aiden Hester.
“Simon and Cam ran over 500 miles (in the summer),” WHS coach Eileen Grosse said. “(I like) the dedication of the team to summer conditioning.”
Heys was easily the best in the league last year, winning by more than 20 seconds. Park was third in the league race.
Those two will need help if the Hurricane are to contend for the championship on the boys side. WHS was fourth in 2017 and lost Drew Spendlove and Ian Holmes to graduation.
For the girls, Tristin Vail, a second team All-SBAAC runner a year ago, is the top loss from last year’s fifth place Lady Hurricane team. Heather Fryman and Sarah Wright also are gone from 2017.
Girls newcomer Skye Carpenter put in good miles over the summer, Grosse said. She is joined by returnees Jordan Snarr, Shannon O’Boyle and Sophia Agee.
Grosse is in her 32nd year of coaching cross country and again is joined by Brad Heys, in his 11th year of coaching, as the co-head coaches for Wilmington. Karen Heslop is a volunteer coach.
“We could use a few more girls runners,” Grosse said. “We need to continue overall conditioning and training. We need to improve our race strategies.”
Grosse said Western Brown on the boys side and New Richmond on the girls side have good depth of runners and are the early favorites to claim the American Division titles this season. Last season, New Richmond won the boys team title with Western Brown second while Western Brown won the girls crown with New Richmond second.