After returning to the semi-state meet for the first time in two years, the boys cross country team looks to take their experience deeper into tournament season. As they kick off their season, the boys have been seeing good results in practices and meets that have allowed them to have an optimistic outlook on the season.
“It's still very early but so far, it's been a good start. We just have to keep progressing and wanting to get better each week from here on out,” varsity boys head coach Sean O’Brien said.
The Warriors placed in the top ten out of 26 teams in the first meet of their season on Sept. 7. Senior Keith Bye has been one of the standouts on the team so far this season as well as last season. At the Lafayette Harrison Invite, Bye placed six out of 186 guys at the meet getting a PR of 16:04.1. Over the past four years, Bye has shaved three minutes and sixteen seconds off of his event time.
“When it’s time for race day I really kick it in,” Bye said. “I try to take every race seriously, and I try not to let the team down.”
Along with Bye, junior Branson Dao has been a projected standout for the boys team. Dao has been a member of the cross country team for all three years and continues to show potential for the rest of his high school career. At the Lafayette Harrison meet, Dao ran 18:22.3 a thirteen second improvement from last year’s time.
At Brown County, Warren Central boys cross country placed third, leading the way for the Warriors, Bye placed first and junior Kevin Sasser finished in sixth place. Although the boys’ season has just started, they hope to continue to improve upon the records they have set so far this season.
“Our season has started off as the team under the radar and not poised to make any ‘gigantic’ moves throughout the season. There is also a massive portion of guys who have improved from last year to this year, which just shows how deep the team is as well as how much better we're getting,” Dao said.
In the Black and Gold Hokum Karem, the Lady Warriors took fifth place with a time of 2:00:11. With two pairs of girls in the top 20, the Warriors have been able to start their season off strong and on a positive note including the improvement of fifteen girls from their Intra Squad 3K time. The next race the Lady Warriors competed in was the Arabian Round-Up. They scored 236 points and placed seventh out of eighteen teams, matching their results from last season.
Standouts from these races were seniors Elisabeth Moss and Brianna Wilkerson.
This season, Moss has set a personal record of 22:00.4 at the Lafayette Harrison Invite and looks to continue to lower her time. As their season continues, Moss has high hopes for what her team can accomplish this season and the improvements that have already been made.
As the season continues for both teams, they look forward to improving in various areas as well as training for postseason competition. With multiple athletes shaving off time from last year’s season, the Warriors have already shown that they are ready for the season to come.
“It’s definitely better than last year. We’ve had a lot of girls who are really helping make big contributions to the team. I think we have a strong top 12 and our team time is a lot faster than last year on average,” Moss said.