Holy Trinity cross country coach Marc Bailey believes his teams are set to make a splash now and in the future.
“Our goal is a very simple goal: to send the two teams to declare themselves,” he said. “And I think both teams have a legitimate chance to do that.”
There are many reasons to understand why the Tigers coach believes his two teams will have the chance to compete in the State Class 1A competition, which is scheduled for November 12 at Apalachee Regional Park in Tallahassee.
The boys’ squad was bolstered by the addition of freshman Sawyer Jacobs, who moved to the area from New York. Jacobs joins a long list of talented freshmen for the Tigers, including top runner Skyler Jensen.
Other stars of the men’s team include second student Augustine Stehley; freshman Zack Gunderson; sophomore Garrett Tinker; freshman Finn Werder; freshman Donovan Boesch and senior Jack Riggs.
Bailey, now in his second year as a cross country coach, said last season he believes the boys from Holy Trinity will become a county power over the next two years. Everything he has seen of the group this year has convinced him even more.
“They’ve taken a new step forward,” Bailey said. Freshman Skyler Jensen has already clocked 5:20 p.m. He’s the fastest freshman in the county and one of the fastest in the state. His comrades are not far behind him.
“I think by the time they get to be juniors they will definitely be one of the best (county and state teams).”
Jensen said the Tigers have “looked good” this season while trying to improve each week as the competitions become more and more important.
“I think our team will reach the United States,” Jensen said. “Our team is very committed. Most of them are here everyday, working hard and doing their best to improve.
Ava Knight, a freshman and top runner for Holy Trinity Girls this season, would say the same about her teammates.
“I agree (with Skyler),” she said. “I think everyone on the team is very committed and ready to work very hard to get to where they need to be to compete in the States and do their best.”
In addition to Knight, other top runners for the Holy Trinity Girls this season include sophomore Sophia Weiner; rookie Natalie Morris; second year student Alinah Sarratt; rookie Kate Schwinn and senior captain Julia McNatt.
“We don’t have a lot of girls, but I have six girls who can all run between 22 and 21 (minutes),” Bailey said. “They should get it said. They work exceptionally hard. I’m just proud of them. Cross country is a grueling sport.