Despite a 1-2 finish in last year’s SBAAC National Division cross country standings, the Blanchester boys and girls teams aren’t considered favorites, according to their head coach.
“Bethel-Tate and Georgetown,” said BHS coach Tony Blevins when asked about league favorites.
On the boys side, the top runners in 2017 who do not return are Ashton Steward and Samuel Reinhart.
On the girls side, the top runners from the National Division championship team in 2017 who do not return are individual league champion Savannah Rhodes, Angelia Brown and Tatum Kirby.
But the girls have a potential second straight league champion in Olivia Gundler, Blevins said.
Gundler was runnerup to her teammate a year ago.
Gundler and current teammate Alexis Davis “both play another sport with cross country being their ‘B’ sport. They have a lot of talent but two sports can be challenging.”
Blevins has been coaching the girls 13 years and the boys 16 years at BHS.
Sean Holland and Ricky Davis were both first team All-SBAAC runners last season and join second teamer Tyler Holland to give BHS a good group at the top.
“We have three seniors who work hard and are good leaders,” said Blevins. “They are a great group to coach.”
However, there are only five on the roster.
“I am hoping to recruit a few more runners,” said Blevins. “We have a solid five but no insurance if someone is having a bad day.”
Freshman Brett Bandow is expected to be a solid contributor to the Wildcats this season.