Motivation to be key factor for Mehlville girls


Enthusiasm will be one of the keys to the success of the Mehlville High girls’ cross country squad this year, according to head coach Mark Ehlen. Photo by Bill Milligan.

By Robert Chalupny
For the Call

Motivation could prove to be a key factor if the Mehlville High School varsity girls’ cross country team enjoys success this season, as several newcomers and up-and-comers will lead the way.

Head coach Mark Ehlen told the Call that the 2017 squad’s enthusiasm will be one of the keys to their success this year.

“This season’s team will be the youngest and have fewer runners than previous seasons,” he said. “A strength of this season’s team is its collective energy, camaraderie and personality.

“This team is best described as small in numbers, but big on personality. My expectation is this group of girls uses the exceptional camaraderie among themselves to push one another from top to bottom,” the coach added.

The Panthers have some good returning runners to help lead the way this year, and Ehlen has high expectations of them.

“The team will be led by two competitive sophomores, Emily Pesselato and Emma Hubbell. It is refreshing as a coach to have athletes that are consistently asking what they can do to get better,” he said. “Both girls took last season’s successes, disappointments, district meet experience and used it for motivation all summer. It will be fun watching these girls compete and be competitive on the varsity level …”

The coach also is excited about incoming freshman Madison Riek, “who embraced running all summer by taking advantage of our summer team runs and a training plan.”