Kee cross country teams ready to build on last season as girls return all runners from the brink of State team qualification, boys will benefit from experience and new faces

Left to right - Front row: Nicki Wood, Laura Colsch, Makayla Peters, Katie Brennan. Back row: Michael Mattson, Chris Wagner, Jacob Berns, Ryan Whalen, Dylan Walleser. Not pictured: Makayla Walleser, Rachel Walleser. Photo courtesy of the Kee High School Yearbook.

The Kee cross country program faces varying scenarios between its girls and boys squads for the 2017 season, but coach Pat Wagner sees overall promise and potential with each. The cross country girls suffered no graduation loss and return all six of last season’s high school competitors from a team that finished its 2016 campaign right at the brink of State Meet qualification. The boys, on the other hand, are dealing with the reshuffling of their distance deck, with graduation taking away some veteran mainstays, a bit of experience returning, and some new faces holding some promise in their distance debut.
“We are excited about this season,” Kee cross country coach Pat Wagner said. “In early season workouts the student athletes are focused and working hard. All six girls are returning letterwinners, and (juniors) Jacob Berns and Ryan Whalen return on the boys side.”

The six girls returning for the Lady Hawks this fall each helped take the team to a fourth-place team finish at their Class 1A State Qualifying Meet last season, one spot away from the required third-place qualification finish. That heralded half-dozen includes the entire squad’s lone senior in multi-year veteran Nicki Wood, as well as the one individual who did qualify for last season’s State Meet in junior Katie Brennan. Junior Makayla Walleser and the sophomore trio of Laura Colsch, Makayla Peters and Rachel Walleser round out that crew looking to take their entire team to the next level.

For more complete coverage, pick up this week's print edition or subscribe to our e-edition by clicking here.

Rate this article: 
Average: 5 (1 vote)