Mehlville Senior High boys to put their best foot forward in a cross-country rebuilding year

Mehlville boys are planning to be competitive at districts

After losing a majority of runners to graduation, a rebuilding year lies head for the Mehlville High boys' cross country team in 2015.

After losing a majority of runners to graduation, a rebuilding year lies head for the Mehlville High boys’ cross country team in 2015.

By Robert Chalupny

A rebuilding year lies ahead for the Mehlville Senior High School boys’ cross country team after losing a majority of last season’s runners to graduation.

Gryphon Ketterling, Mehlville’s only returning senior, will be asked to clear the path ahead and lead his teammates with his experience.

“He will lead a young and inexperienced boys’ team this season,” head coach Mark Ehlen told the Call.

John Williams and Tyler Derickson also return, and they will be expected to rise to the occasion, according to Ehlen.

“They will both be counted on to emerge as varsity-level contributors for the team,” the Mehlville coach said.

The Panthers have a large group of rookie runners and Ehlen has established some goals for the new squad.

“A team goal is to have at least 14 boys that will develop and gain confidence with every meet at both the JV and varsity level,” he said. “A second goal is to once again become one of those competitive boys’ teams competing for a top-four team finish at the district meet.

“The top-four teams qualify for the sectional meet.”

The Panthers will start their 2015 journey Saturday, Aug. 29, at the Jackson Invitational, followed by the Lutheran South Invitational Friday, Sept. 4.