OSAWATOMIE – The cross country program is a young one at Osawatomie High School, but an eager one this season.
Seniors Brianna Shippy and Tessa Thompson are back to lead the Lady Trojans. The team also features sophomore Libby Barnett, sophomore Christi McCoy, freshman Claire Eble and seventh-grader Brooklyn Kerr.
Paul Kuhn, an exchange student from Germany, is out to set pace for the Trojan boys team. The squad also features sophomore Like Hebert, sophomore Kayden Pearson, freshman LJ Kerr and freshman Korbin Brockett.
Shippy, Thompson, McCoy and Hebert are returning letter-winners.
“Our goal this season is to keep improving every week,” Osawatomie coach Preston Samuels said. “It is awesome to be able to have five girls and five boys to be able to compete in team scoring at meets. This will allow us to have individual goals and team goals during the year. We want to keep encouraging our upperclassmen to keep improving and have our younger runners figure out the sport of cross country at the varsity level.
“The first key to success is to be able to beat the heat in the early part of the season so we can get in racing shape,” he said. “Hopefully, the heat passes soon, so we can keep working hard and focus on our personal running goals.”
Osawatomie is having a little fun along the way too, working some crazy socks into the mix to distract from the heat early on.
“The thing about cross country is that athletes have to run, with that said, our group has been positive with our workouts even with the heat,” Samuels said. “We will keep improving and keep getting tougher to be able to compete with other teams. Extremely happy with our practices.
“Brianna Shippy, Tessa Thompson, and Paul Kuhn have done an amazing job of bringing a positive attitude and humor with some amazing socks,” he said.