Number of participants on Mehlville High boys’ cross country team increases again

Mehlville High runners ready to put their best foot forward.

The Mehlville High boys cross country program continues to see an increasing number of athletes coming out for the team. Bill Milligan photo

The Mehlville High boys’ cross country program continues to see an increasing number of athletes coming out for the team. Bill Milligan photo

By BILL MILLIGAN

For the second year in a row, the number of participants on the Mehlville Senior High School boys’ cross country team has increased.

With 18 attending regular workouts, Mehlville will field a regular varsity and junior varsity program for the 2011 season.

“We have four times the number of participants as in early years,” said head coach Dustin Pearce, who is in his fourth year as the head of Mehlville’s program.

“We’ve had to recruit,” Pearce said. “We’ve had luck with other sports. They’re looking for other programs. We have no cuts.”

Pearce has been fortunate to retain all the previous athletes not lost to graduation, including senior Nick Zewiski, whose class schedule prevented him from competing in the sectionals last year.

“I’m really lucky to have Nick back,” Pearce said. “He’s helped in a lot of situations we would have missed him already.”

And he will bolster morale along with senior Drew Wohlschlager and junior Trey Pratt. Also slated for a varsity role this season will be Nick Bewen, a sophomore who qualified for the state finals last year.

Another senior, Nathan Quinn, is expected to be in the varsity mix this season.

“We took 20 runners to the West Plains camp this summer,” Pearce said. “The other positions will be taken up by the guys that are working the hardest.”