Wyoming Area enters the season with just enough cross country runners to compete as a team in Wyoming Valley Conference meets.
The Warriors go into Paul Hindmarsh’s second season with six boys and five girls ready to run as a team.
In most high school meets, including WVC regular-season, multi-team competitions, teams can enter as many runners as they choose, but need five runners to have a team score and avoid a forfeit. Up to seven runners can count toward displacing opponents’ runners, therefore impacting other team’s scores.
Schools with fewer than five runners just enter their runners as individuals, unable to score as a team.
The Lady Warriors posted four wins last season, but had other meets, including the District 2 championships where they did not have the required number of runners.
“Fortunately for us, we’re running a girls team this year,” Hindmarsh said.
The team has three experienced juniors.
Addison Orzel, who finished 41st out of 94 at the district meet as Wyoming Area’s top individual last year, returns.
Sarah Holweg is also back, along with Gwen Glatz, who missed much of last season with an injury.
Sophomores Isabella Concha and Valere Gerchak, both with track experience, are new to the team.
“They signed up and the end-of-the-year sign-ups expressed an interest and have been running all summer with us,” Hindmarsh said. “It always help that the team is able to condition over the summer and get to know each other.
“It’s both an individual and a team sport. What I like so far is the kids have been very supportive of each other.”
The Wyoming Area boys went 7-9 last season, then finished 15th of 16 teams at the District 2 Class AA championships.
Seniors Matthew Hindmarsh, the coach’s son, and David Alberigi return after being the fifth and sixth runners on the team at the district meet to end last season. None of the top four, which included three seniors who graduated, return.
Hindmarsh, who was injured and limited to three late-season meets in 2015, and Alberigi are each in their fourth seasons in the program.
Sophomore James Sheridan is new to the team.
“He’s got a bit of a track background, so I’m hoping he can contribute as well,” coach Hindmarsh said.
Hindmarsh has three freshmen in the lineup, who would have been eligible for the option to remain in the junior high program. He said they each possess enough experience from the junior high team that they would have been moving up to running races of the varsity distance this year regardless of the numbers in the program.
George Sharkey, Jake Switzer and Hunter Johnson are the young additions to the lineup.
Wyoming Area opens the season Sept. 3 at the Cliff Robbins Invitational at Misericordia University. It begins the conference schedule Sept. 7 at Dallas.
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