Oakville Senior High girls’ cross country team ready to go the distance this year

With increased numbers this year, head coach Bill Zimmerman believes his girls' cross country team has a good chance of climbing back into the state limelight. Bill Milligan photo

With increased numbers this year, head coach Bill Zimmerman believes his girls' cross country team has a good chance of climbing back into the state limelight. Bill Milligan photo

By BILL MILLIGAN

During the past several decades, one thing was certain each fall — someone from Oakville Senior High School was going to win the state women’s cross country championship.

Not anymore.

“We had one girl that went to the state sectionals last year,” head coach Bill Zimmerman said. “She finished 15th.”

But with five or six seniors and three freshmen turning out for this year’s campaign, Zimmerman believes his team’s numbers are improving.

Along with them, so are the Tigers’ chances of climbing back into the state limelight.

“This is the strongest team we’ve had in the four years I’ve been here,” he said.

Zimmerman, former coach at Mehlville, took over the program after the passing of former head coach John Dennett.

Megan Erwin is back this season after missing her junior year. Alexis Palmer is back for her sophomore year.

Melissa Brown is the team’s only state qualifier. She did a lot of training over the summer and ran in some Big River events to sharpen her edge.

“We have five or six seniors and there are three freshmen,” Zimmerman said. “We’re just going to do our best and hope for good results.”