Veteran group returns to Cocalico

By on August 24, 2011

By: TODD RUTH Review Sports Editor truth.eph@lnpnews.com, Staff Writer

The Cocalico girls cross country team posted its best record in team history a year ago when the Lady Eagles ran to a record of 14-7.

This year, both the CHS girls and boys teams have aspirations of equaling or bettering that mark.

On the girls’ side, Cocalico returns four of its top runners in seniors Leah Wallace, Avery and Kari Longstaff, and junior Amanda Drexel. That outstanding core group of runners should put the Lady Eagles in the mix for a run at a title this year. However, they are still trying to pick up the pieces following the recent death of teammate Lauren Trefny.

But according to Coach Ron Derr, the tragedy has brought them closer together.

"This team is filled with a large amount of seniors who have been with our program for years, they are very familiar with our expectations and are very motivated to make it an exciting year," he said. "The girls have gone through the devastating experience of losing a teammate this past summer and the experience has really bonded them tightly together."

In addition to the four mainstays, Derr said other runners who could be in the mix are : Shannon Hoeveler, Megan Glover, Sarah Mohler and Megan Caizzo.

While injuries are always a concern, if the Lady Eagles maintain their health the sky could be the limit for these Birds.

" I expect our team to compete in each meet to the best of their ability and continue progressing as runners throughout the season," Derr said. "I also expect our team to encourage and challenge one another to do their best. We need to take advantage of each time we practice and practice well at that particular time. We also need to stay healthy."

There is also plenty of optimism on the boys side this year as Cocalico returns four runners who were in the mix a year ago on their squad that went 8-13.

While Mike Rismiller and Dan Trommler have moved on, a solid core including Dominic Rey, Ryan Conner, Josh Lorah and Austin Aletriz are back. Those four will be joined by other quality runners, including: Daulton Zerkowski, Ben Terry, Harry Major, Nick Voutsinos and Spencer Henry.

"This team is filled with a large amount of seniors who have been with our program for years," Derr said. "They are very familiar with our expectations and are very motivated to make it an exciting year."

While his expectations with the boys are similar to his girls’ team, Derr added that health and good practice habits are the key to this team flourishing in 2011. More COCALICO, page B-2

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