This year’s Holy Trinity boys and girls crossover teams seem to be following the exact path any coach would want:
They will only get better as the season progresses.
This is especially the case for the men’s team at Holy Trinity, which started the season with a number of new runners who had never raced in varsity competition before.
“We could have a very phenomenal end to the season because once everyone is fit I can really see what we have got,” Holy Trinity coach Anthony Sullivan said after an early run in season.
Speaking after that same run, senior Brandon Assam was also high on his team’s chances.
“I think we can be really good,” Assam said. “We looked very strong in that first meeting, which was much better than last year. I think we have a good chance to push for States this year. Our top seven runners are very quick.”
Top runner Matt Allen had struggled with injury issues early in the season but returned to lead the team at last month’s Katie Caples Invitational with a time of 20 minutes.
He was attended by sophomores Will Bell and Jack Riggs, freshman Cassidy Werder, senior Ryan Mozer and a series of seventh-year students – Zack Gunderson, Keaton White, Finley Werder and Thomas McHenry .
The Holy Trinity girls, meanwhile, entered this season facing the prospect of having to replace last year’s Class 1A state champion – Carly McNatt (who transferred to IMG Academy) – as well as another top runner in Sasha Wiechecki Vergara, who graduated.
“Trying to replace those two is never going to be an easy task when they’re two of the top 20 runners in 1A,” Sullivan said. “We are working to try to replace them and we are trying to move forward as a team, trying to work together as a team.”
The first results have been encouraging.
Eighth-grader Braelyn Wahy moved into first place for the Tigers, although at the Katie Caples Invitational she finished third on her team behind Ivy Knight and Ava Knight.
Senior Charlotte Varnes finished fourth for Holy Trinity in this race along with eighth Sophia Weiner, sevenths Natalie Morris and Valentina Velarde, junior Jaiden Martin, seventh Janely Tavares and second Julia McNatt.
Despite the departure of two top runners, the Tigers are once again in the hunt for a top-seven berth in this year’s Class 1A state competition, which is scheduled for Nov. 9 at Apalachee Regional Park in Tallahassee. .
“The team is going to be very good,” Wahy said. “We have a lot of strong new seventh graders.”