Despite loss of runners to graduation, Oakville High girls show potential in 2013

Cross country girls to put their best foot forward

Though the Oakville High School girls cross county team lost most of its runners from last season to graduation, 18 girls have turned out for this years squad.

Though the Oakville High School girls’ cross county team lost most of its runners from last season to graduation, 18 girls have turned out for this year’s squad.

By Robert Chalupny

The Oakville Senior High School varsity girls’ cross country team appears to be in a rebuilding year after losing most of last year’s runners to graduation.

Even though the Tigers lost most of their runners from last season, they have a much larger team this year, which means more potential and more competition.

The Tigers, led by head coach Emily Baker, will try to nurture that potential to make it grow.

“We have a lot of new runners,” Baker told the Call. “Last year, we only had seven girls and this year we have 18. So my expectations are that they stay with it. They enjoy it.

“That’s what I want for them, so we can hopefully build a team that is competitive this year.”

One returning varsity player from the 2012 season who will be expected to put up some low times and help lead the team by example is Melissa Brown.

“It’s her senior year. She’s a four-year varsity runner,” Baker said. “She’s gone to state the last three years. The last two years she’s placed and she’s also a big leader on the team … We expect big things out of her again this year.”

Hard work and training throughout the season should be a strength for the Tigers as well as competition.

“The strength I think is that we have a lot of new people out for the team,” Baker said. “They are all competitive girls, so I think they are all going to push each other in practice.”

The most important attributes on a cross country team are fitness and endurance, which the Tigers will have to work toward, but the fact that they have such a young group of girls could help them achieve their goal quickly.

Baker is optimistic she can get the girls ready and cited inexperience as the team’s only real obstacle to overcome.

“I think the only weakness we have is that all of the girls are very young,” she said. “We only have one senior that’s run before. The other two seniors are new to the sport. So we are young. Other than that, I think we’ll be just fine.”