CULVER — As the 2010 Cross Country State Tournament gets underway today, Plymouth is looking to build on last year’s success.
At the Culver Academies Sectional, Plymouth’s girls hope to build on last year’s fourth-place regional-berth finish and unseat defending champion and host Culver Girls Academy.
While the Lady Eagles retain 2009 sectional and regional champion Waverly Neer from last season’s campaign as well as fellow senior Kaye Sitterly, three of last year’s top five have since moved on.
On the other hand, top-10 Plymouth finisher Allasyn Slater and Katelyn Brashere both return for the Pilgrims, as do Brittany Gantz, who placed 22nd at last year’s sectional meet, and Gabi Ramirez, who placed 29th, as well as senior Emily Walden.
But Plymouth head cross country coach Jami Holm remains cautiously optimistic about today’s meet.
“We kind of looked at some times that those other teams above us ran and how old some of those runners were so I just kind of had an idea of who’s coming back,” she said. “We think we have a chance at doing really well if not winning. Our major competition, I think, is going to be Culver Girls Academy. They’ve got Waverly of course and then Kaye, who is a really good runner for them.
“It’s hard to get times for them because they don’t run a lot of those meets during the week that a lot of those other schools in the area run, and (CGA head coach Michael Chastain) doesn’t always bring certain runners to races we may see them in. It’s hard to say what he’s got. He’s always got a great team; he does a wonderful job with both the boys and girls team.”