The sky may be the limit for the newly formed West County High School cross country team as it prepares to make a run at a league title this fall.
Veteran Analy coach Mark Grismer returns to lead a historically big team of about 50 athletes, one loaded with talent and experience.
“We enjoyed a great summer camp of about 20 runners at Salt Point State Park the first week of August and I have some promising runners and lots of new potential,” Grismer reported. “We’ve got several strong girls returning, so I hope to have a strong girl’s team. The boy’s team has some new potential of veteran runners I don’t yet know well, as well as a couple of my returning track boys that should make for a much stronger boy’s team than I had in the winter COVID cross country season.”
The infusion of talent moving over from El Molino will bolster the strength and talent of the squad, no doubt stamping them as the favorites to capture the North Bay League Redwood Division.
Returning varsity runners for the West County boys are senior leaders Ben Neargarder, Joey Thompson and Aiden Finnegan. Other seniors are; Ethan Dierke, Lium William and Dylan Pena Perez. Juniors include; Anthony Catlett, Max Dunkle, Brett Kellar, Liam Kelly, Trey Klaus, Aidan McCarn, Reilly McKnight, Micah Mimmo, Elijah Rodriguez and William Voss. The list of underclassmen features sophomores; Dylan Arendt, Owen Foley, David Little, Ethan Miller, Marcus Schluter and Cayden Timbermoon. Freshmen are; Spencer Allen, Cormac Gaylord, Ben McKnight, Aizik Ramirez, Blake Travis, Richard Varville and Kenton Weekly.
The varsity girls should be equally strong, led by senior veterans; Carolina Dawson, Emma McNatt, Callie Courts and former El Mo standout Sienna Fassett. Juniors are; Jennifer Orozco, Jasmin Baptista, Bailey Courts and Isabella Yob. Sophomores looking to make their mark are; Rosie Harris, Elaine Cortes, Isabella Ghiradelli, Willa Heacock, Satori McCullough and Kelyna White. Freshmen include; Ellyana Bieber, Alexis del Real Marquez, Angelita Gutierrez, Elena Marquez, Nayela Sauceda-Murphy, Jasmine Tran and Jacquelyn Voss.
West County will kick off the fall schedule on Sept. 10 at the Bob Shor Invitational at Spring Lake in Santa Rosa. As always, home meets will be held at Ragle Ranch Regional Park in Sebastopol, with the first meet in the friendly confines set for Sept. 22. The NBL schedule runs from Sept. 29 through Oct. 27, and NBL Redwood Division championship meet will be on Nov. 13 at Spring Lake.
Other teams competing in the NBL Redwood Division are Elsie Allen, Healdsburg, St. Vincent, Ukiah, Cardinal Newman and Rancho Cotate.