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Poland cross country ready for repeat run for regionals

August 19, 2010
By J.T. Whitehouse

Both Poland boys and girls cross country runners are ready for another run at the regionals in spite of a large loss of seniors last season.

On the boys side, head coach Don Smaltz said the team is in a building year.

"We have a lot of new people," he said. "I don't know what kind of year we will have. We have some good new runners that should help the team this year."

Article Photos

Photo by J.T. Whitehouse, Town Crier
Senior members of the 2010 Poland girls cross country team include, in front, Lauren O'Kane, Cassandra Best, Viviana Villegas, and in back row, Sara Pompeo, Annie Markota, Sarah Lankitus and Olivia Zelinka.

Last season the boys made it to regionals as a team and ended up in the top five out of 40 Suburban League teams. Even with a virtually young team, assistant coach Mike Kurjan remains upbeat about 2010.

"We should still be competitive in the league," he said.

The boys open their season on Aug. 24 at Austintown Fitch.

On the girls side of the coin, last year's team qualified to regionals and ended up second in the conference as well as district runner-ups. This year, the team has a fairly young roster.

"We lost a significant group of 11 seniors, but we have a lot of potential coming back," said girls head coach Kim Grisdale. "We have strong runners in every class. We look forward to our freshmen, but have a great group of sophomores, juniors and seniors."

The girls will be competing on Aug. 23 at the Ashtabula Invitational at Lake Shore Park.



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