15 August 2013

Girls X-Country: Still young but experienced

Senior Maricia Pacheco ran in the state meet in 2012 (photo by Jim Lindquist)
With only Maria Kiminski gone from last year's team that finished sixth in both the Missota Conference and Section 1AA Championships enthusiasm is running high in the Tiger camp.

"We saw significant improvement last year," coach Heidi Revels said, "and I believe the girls can finish even higher this year. That is one of our team goals."

Leading the Tiger pack is senior Maricia Pacheco who after earning all-Missota honorable mention honors during the regular season ranked 12th at the Section 1AA meet to earn a berth in the state meet..

The rest of the the 2013 squad will be comprised of underclassmen, six of whom saw action on the varsity team last fall: juniors Sofia Chadwick (all-conference in 2011), Sarah Cummings and Alexis Johnson; sophomore Maricella Pacheco; freshman Sammi Hyytinen and eighth-grader Alexis Laube.

Sophomore Mariana Montbriand and seventh-grader Lauren Peterson should also push the veterans for the seven spots in the varsity lineup.

The Tigers exit Rambling River Trail after an early season run
"Many of the girls ran together during the summer months so they have a strong base coming into the season," Revels said.

If there is a question mark, it comes in the area of depth as only 14 runners have been participating in early practice sessions.

Revels tabbed Shakopee, Chaska and Chanhassen as the teams to chase in the final year of Missota Conference competition. Perennial powers Lakeville North and Lakeville South figure the teams to beat in Section 1AA.

"We've been sixth in the conference two years in a row now," Revels said, "and I think we'll break that streak this year. With the experience and the summer training, I believe the girls can move up the ladder as far as they want. We are hopeful."

Allison Laube will serve as varsity assistant coach this season with Connie Berg and former Tiger boys' head coach Keith Revels working with the middle school runners.

The Tigers travel to Northfield next Friday for a scrimmage and then open the season the following Friday (Aug 30) with a trip to Eagan for the Dakota County Championships.

Looking to get out of the 6th place rut