Green girls cross country coach looking for ‘continuous improvement’
GREEN — Green High School girls cross country coach Jake Saylor said his team’s goals are to improve overall on last season’s results and to show improvement this year from week to week.
Last season, Saylor said, Green finished 6-1 at the Suburban League superduals and in third place at the league meet at the end of the season. Overall, the team finished third in the Suburban League.
“We are looking to finish the season better at the league meet and district meet. We need to have continuous improvement throughout the season and run well when we need it,” he said. “I think this team has a realistic opportunity to contend for the league championship as long as they stay healthy and continue to improve and work together as a team.”
Saylor said some of the team’s younger players will need to step up this year to replace key athletes lost to graduation following the 2011 season.
“We graduated three of our top runners from last season, including one who made it to the state meet. So, we are looking for some younger runners to step up,” the coach said. “This is a very young team. We only have three runners back from last season that ran varsity throughout the year.”
One of the team’s leaders this season, the coach said, is senior Kelley Wallace.
“This is only her second year running, and she has shown her maturity and improvement over the season so far,” he said. “Her teammates have shown how much they respect her by making her one of the captains on the team.”
Another of the team’s leaders is Ashley Augustynovich.
“Ashley Augustynovich is one of the team captains who may surprise some people this year,” Saylor said. “She had a great summer of training and a work ethic which is second to none. At the Marlington meet this season, she broke her personal record from last season, so hopefully she will continue to improve and contribute to the team.”
Also playing key roles for the team this season, Saylor said, are a junior and three sophomores.
“Alyssa King is a junior who has really stepped it up this season. She has already broke her personal best from last season by over a minute, and if she continues to work hard, there is no telling what she could do,” he said. “In addition to her, sophomores Katie Hammes, Malicia Mijatovic and Maddie Smith run very well together and have the ability to really stand out and help the team.”
Another bright spot for the team, Saylor said, is that two freshmen already have contributed to the team during their first year with the program.
“Sara Schaub is a freshman who has really come along. She had some outstanding races and has been able to step up when we need her to. She finished ninth overall at the superduals, which is a major accomplishment for a freshman,” he said. “And look for freshman Miriam Blaine to also contribute to the team, as she has had a couple [of] races where she has really turned some heads.”
While the team has limited experience overall, Saylor stated, one of Green’s strengths this year is its deep roster.
“We have a lot of depth this year,” he said. “While we do not have any front-runners, we have many girls that run well together. The girls can run together and push each other — it will be to their advantage.”
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