> SOUTHERN INDIANA —
The Pirates’ top runner returns in junior Whitney Andrews, who has qualified for regional the past two seasons. Returning to the fray with Andrews are seniors Lauren Crowe and Mary Hoff and junior Alysha Flaget.
Three newcomers join the Pirates in juniors Kaitlynn Henning and Keeley Couch and freshman Molly Summer.
“We are looking for a very competitive season not only individually, but I am also looking to be competitive as a team. Last year, we were one girl short of fielding a complete team,” Doyle said.
Like the Generals’ boys’ program, Gardner is trying to rebuild the Clarksville girls’ program. After not having a team last year, Gardner is looking to have three runners come out for the squad this season.
The Highlanders have several returnees and should be a contender to repeat as sectional and regional champions at Crawford County. Among the returning runners are seniors Jamie Bierman and Zoe Doebbler, juniors
Gabrielle Rodriguez, Cassie Nale and Haley Meyer and sophomores Lydia Kotowski, Kassidy Manning and Madison Barney.
Coach Carl Hook says several returnees and newcomers will be batting for spots on the varsity roster. He expects his team to battle with New Albany and Seymour for the HHC crown. As for the sectional, he looks for the Bulldogs to be the Highlanders’ strongest competition.
“If we can keep everybody healthy, we have a chance to be pretty good,” Hook said. “The girls have worked hard this summer and are excited about racing.”
Senior Sadie Spears comes back to the Hornets after winning the Southwestern Sectional title and qualifying for semistate last season.
Junior Megan O’Lone also returns following her regional berth in 2012 and Nifong expects big things from freshman Cia Greene.
One of Henryville’s goals is to win the SAC title. But the Hornets will most likely have to get past defending conference champion Borden to achieve that feat.
“I expect Spears and Greene to get to the [IHSAA] state meet as individuals. We want to win conference as a team,” Nifong said.