Westside’s cross country lineup has changed a bit, but coach Allen Stiltner thinks his team has a good shot at a second straight appearance in the state meet this fall.
“We lost two of our top five from last year to grade,” Stiltner explained. “We’ve replaced them with some pretty good kids.
“We may not be as talented as some teams,” he added, “but you have to out work people. If you’re really dedicated, you can win.”
Leading the Renegades is Cameron Davis, one of the top runners in the state.
Davis suffered a stress fracture while running track last spring and is not yet 100 percent. “Cam is better than most people even when he’s not at full strength,” commented Stiltner.
Also on the team are seniros Austin Gibson and Braden Cochrane, junior Nathaniel Evans, whose previous experience is in track, and freshman Jeremiah Scholar. Josh Cline “is most probably the most improved guy we have,’ the coach said.
A running website ranks WHS in the pre-season top 10.
Stiltner says he doesn’t pay a lot of attention to rankings. “You’ve got to perform every week,” he stated.”I expect we’ll have five kids running in the 20s.”
“We want to win Coalfields, win the region and have a respectable showing at state,” Stiltner said.
WHS hosted an exhibition meet last Tuesday with Wyoming East, Princeton, Mingo Central, Mount View and Liberty also participating. “It’s an easy run for the first race of the season,” commented Stiltner.
The Renegades may host a meet later in the season to help teams which need another meet on the schedule to qualify for post-season participation.
The Coalfield Conference meet this year will be held at Little Beaver, and the regionals are at PikeView.
WHS opens the season this weekend at Cabell Midland at the annual Geico Invitational.