Lindbergh boys set sights higher in 2011

Flyers cross country squad off, running for 2011 season.

After missing qualifying for the state meet by five points last season, the Lindbergh boys cross country team wants to get into that top four this year. Bill Milligan photo

After missing qualifying for the state meet by five points last season, the Lindbergh boys’ cross country team wants to get into that top four this year. Bill Milligan photo

By BILL MILLIGAN

The Lindbergh High School boys’ cross country team has been the district champion for the past five years.

But this year the team has set its sights a little higher.

“We missed qualifying for the state meet by five points,” head coach Jim Petersen said. “We set our sights a little higher this season. We want to get in that top four.”

The Flyers have more than 40 athletes in camp this year, including four with a 500-mile base they put in place over the summer break.

“We have great expectations,” Petersen said. “There will be four or five guys competing for the last three spots. Our JV should be very good.”

Leading the Flyers this year will be junior Tom Skosky and senior Jake Luciani.

Keeping pace will be Kyle Pieper, Tyler Gloss and Sam Bankhead, all juniors.

Also expected on varsity will be senior Joey Di Paola and sophomore Jordan Watt.

Pushing both groups will be juniors Spencer Bankhead and Vidhan Srivastava.

“We want to see what we can do against the best teams in the state,” Petersen said. “We consider ourselves in that category. We want to set our goals high and hope we can get to be a really good team.”

To do that means Lindbergh has designs on either Eureka or Marquette, the two programs that finished ahead of the Flyers in last year’s sectional competition.

“They’re retuning a lot of guys,” Petersen said, adding he expects Kirkwood to have a lot more depth this year.

“They’re the teams we’ll have to beat to get to state,” he said. “It’ll show once we start racing.”