Familiar faces will return to defend their GMC titles of a year ago as Edgerton’s Miller Park will again host the annual event on Saturday.
The Holgate boys and Hicksville girls took home titles in 2018 but this year’s field, especially on the girls side, could look a bit different according to Holgate’s coach, Bradley Hurst.
“Edgerton and Fairview girls are definitely the front runners with Antwerp right behind them,” he explained. “There are a lot of girls that are running very well right now in the season. There are some very good individuals in the girls race with Raena Willett, Teryn Bour, Leah Layman, Stefanie Thiel, Elisabeth Willett, and Kassidy Campbell.”
Bour (Jr.) returns as the reigning champion for the Pilots while Raena (Sr.) and Elizabeth Willet (Fr.) will likely be up front for the Tigers.
Layman (Jr., sixth) and teammate Taylor King (Sr., ninth) could be a factor for Fairview while Thiel (Jr., fifth) of Edgerton, Campbell (So.) of Wayne Trace and Taylor Metz (So.) of Hicksville could figure into the mix as well.
“I want all of our runners to be focused and come to compete against all of the competition,” added Hurst. “We have been getting ready for this race all year and we need to be ready to compete at the highest level.
“Our girls need to get out the first mile and settle into their race pace. All of the girls are getting healthy and are excited to run on Saturday.”
In the boys event, Fairview’s Treyvon Hastings (Jr.) returns after taking first a year ago. He will likely face some stiff competition he didn’t have a year ago in Ayersville’s Noah Fisher (Sr.), who didn’t race in the event.
Other runners to watch include: Nick Breininger (Sr., fourth) of Fairview, Clay Carpenter (Jr.) of Tinora, Hayden Hartman (Sr.) of Holgate and Josh Apt (Sr., seventh) of Edgerton.
The Tigers held off Edgerton a year ago while the Rams and Apaches took third and fourth respectively.
“The boys are ready for the race and I want to see them come into the race mentally ready to compete against some very good competition,” stated Hurst.
Hurst would like to see his team try to stay together as long as possible.
“Our boys need to get out into their pace the first mile and be ready to compete against great competition,” he said. “The boys need to keep running together and run the last mile as hard as they can to finish well as a team. We are getting healthy and ready for a great race on Saturday.”
The Tiger boys are currently ranked ninth in the latest D-III poll and they will look to duplicate what they did a year ago, their first title since 1997.
The Lady Aces took home their first title since the 1987 season in 2018.
The first race begins at 9:30 a.m. at Miller Park.