With two college distance runners gone, Charleston will need to find a way to make up for two of their top three point-getters from last year. The team will feature one returning state qualifier but will rely on the experience of the inexperienced.
Here is a preview of the upcoming season.
2021 REVIEW: The Trojans were led by two strong distance runners last season. That included Megan Garrett, who was an All-State finisher in the 800-meter run. Garrett is now running at Adams State University, a top-tier Division II program. Garrett was also the Apollo Conference champion in the 1,600-meter and set the school record at 400 meters, 800 meters run and the mile.
Grace Spoonhour finished second in the Apollo Conference in the 3200-meter run and third in the 1600-meter run. Spoonhour is running cross country at Heartland Community College. Spoonhour missed out on participating at the state meet. The Trojans return state qualifier Makenna McBride, who qualified for state for the 100 meters. McBride was the conference runner-up in both the 100 and 200. Charleston finished third in the conference last year.
KEY RETURNERS: McBride, a senior, figures to contend for another state berth in the sprints and to be a lead runner in the relays. Hannah Taylor was fourth on the team in points last season, competing primarily in the long jump, triple jump and high jump.
Ila Richter continues to rehab an injury she sustained last year, but she will be the team’s primary distance runner in the 800 and 1600 meter runs. The same goes for Hadley Webb, who is also recovering from an injury from last fall. Webb could be a surprise in the 3,200 meters as a freshman.
BIGGEST CHALLENGES: Garrett and Spoonhour earned considerable points for a team that placed third in the Apollo and fourth at the sectional. The team is inexperienced in throws and hurdles. The team also returns just one mid-distance runner in Malia Hodges. All four relays will feature some sort of inexperience with freshmen and sophomore runners. With two of the team’s primary distance runners also trying to get healthy, it will be a day-by-day process for the Trojans.
KEY MEETS: Charleston competes in the indoor Apollo Conference Championships this Saturday and participates in the outdoor Apollo Championships on May 5.
Seniors: Tesa Brown, Aerielle Ecker, Casey Fisher, Mackenna McBride, Ally Thompson
Juniors: Treveia Couch, Malia Hodges, Ila Richter, Madeline Sanders, Annabel Wehrle, Laney Wright
Sophomores: Olivia Conn, A’Jonna Hamilton, Greta Larson, Mackensie Williams
Freshmen: Emileonna Hamilton, Tyreeona Nailing, Hadley Webb, Josie Wehrle, Amber Weiss