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Pettisville Cross Country Gears Up




The Pettisville boys cross country team returns 10 letterwinners. Front row, from left: Logan Beck, Aaron Bruner, Justin Pursel. Back row: Alex Donnett, Nathan Beck, Zach Davis, Tanner Rufenacht. Absent: Travis Beck, Seth Hernandez, Jacob Valdez.– photo courtesy A New Image Photography

The Pettisville boys cross country team returns 10 letterwinners. Front row, from left: Logan Beck, Aaron Bruner, Justin Pursel. Back row: Alex Donnett, Nathan Beck, Zach Davis, Tanner Rufenacht. Absent: Travis Beck, Seth Hernandez, Jacob Valdez.– photo courtesy A New Image Photography

The Pettisville cross country teams have been under the guidance of Tom Wagner for 30 years.

With 10 returning letterwinners on the girls team, Wagner looks for his squad to compete for a Buckeye Border Conference title this year.

Girls Team

The girls team lost only one letterwinner on a team that went 104-39 last year, won the BBC with a 15-0 record, and finished second at the district meet.

Rachel Beck, who graduated, was the fifth team runner and team captain, and was named Second Team All-BBC.

“We’ll miss her leadership,” said Wagner.

“We should be quite competitive with most schools,” said the head coach. “In our area there are a number of very good teams such as Liberty Center, Wauseon, Ottoville, and Spencerville… just to name a few.

“We have pretty solid numbers for our size school. We have good leadership, experience, and many talented individuals, but we need to guard against injury.”

Ten letterwinners return on the PHS girls cross country team. Front row, from left: Lexie King, Samantha Shinhearl, Amber Loar, Tanner Hostetler. Back row: Brady Avina, Kayla King, Jackie Morrill, Heidi Waidelich, Taylore Lantz. Absent: Erin Fricke.– photo courtesy A New Image Photography

Ten letterwinners return on the PHS girls cross country team. Front row, from left: Lexie King, Samantha Shinhearl, Amber Loar, Tanner Hostetler. Back row: Brady Avina, Kayla King, Jackie Morrill, Heidi Waidelich, Taylore Lantz. Absent: Erin Fricke.– photo courtesy A New Image Photography

Returning for the girls:

Seniors:
Brady Avina, second runner, co-captain, First Team All-BBC; Jackie Morrill, sixth runner; Kayla King, co-captain; Heidi Waidelich, Taylore Lantz; Erin Fricke.

Juniors:
Tanner Hostetler, first runner, BBC MVP, state qualifier; Lexie King, third runner, First Team All-BBC.

Sophomores:
Samantha Shinhearl, fourth runner; Amber Loar, sixth runner.

“We should contend for the BBC title again this year,” said Wagner. “Stryker, Edon, and Fayette are three contenders for the crown in a pretty balanced league.”

Boys

“Younger kids will have to work hard to gain experience quickly,” said Wagner. “We’ll need to have members step up to fill leadership roles and find our sense of team.

“This will require us getting out of our comfort zones.”

The boys team went 52-88 last year, 6-8 in the BBC.

Returning are 10 letterwinners:

Senior:
Alex Donnett.

Juniors:
Aaron Bruner, third runner, captain; Zach Davis; Travis Beck; Nathan Beck; Logan Beck.

Sophomores:
Tanner Rufenacht, second runner; Seth Hernandez; Justin Pursel, fourth runner; Jacob Valdez, fifth runner.

Wagner is looking at some freshman to help lead the team.

“If we work hard, develop team unity, and stay injuryfree, we can become a team that will compete with most teams as the season progresses,” said the coach.

Wagner said Stryker, Hilltop, and Fayette are the teams to beat in another “very tough BBC.”

The Birds are scheduled to open the season, Tuesday, Aug. 31, in a tri-meet with Archbold and Evergreen at Archbold.

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