The Jenkins High School (Chewelah) cross-country team has a bunch of fresh faces on the boys and girls teams this season to compliment returning state qualifier Christina Hall.
Head coach Pat Kostecka is still sorting out who is going to be running for his varsity, but he figures the Cougars are definitely ready for the challenge.
â€śWeâ€™re not a very big school, but we have 26 kids out for cross-country which Iâ€™m very happy about, and of those 26, we have 17 freshmen,â€ť said coach Kostecka. â€śSo the leadership aspect of having Christina back is huge.â€ť
The Chewelah girls team has nine runners and the other returning runners include Jasmine Elliot, Danielle Bradley and Mallory Powell. The Chewelah boys squad is a bit more unsettled. â€śThe girls team is pretty capable, but theyâ€™re youngâ€ť Kostecka said. â€śOn the the boys side, we just have so many freshman boys--itâ€™s incredible. So for now, when we go to invitationals, we will just run the JV race just to see where weâ€™re at.â€ť
The boys team looks like it will be led by freshman Caleb Montgomery.
â€śI think heâ€™s going to be a really good runner, so weâ€™ll just have to see how he progresses,â€ť said coach Kostecka. â€śThe entire boys team should progress quickly because they are so young and so new at this. It should be exciting by the end of the year to see how they do.â€ť
The Northeast A League looks to be strong again, with traditional powers Colville, Riverside and Lakeside pushing everyone else.
â€śItâ€™s a really tough league, but weâ€™re going to go out and do the best we can,â€ť Kostecka said.
With almost a month to prepare before their first league race, the Cougars are training hard and looking to settle on a varsity roster at every race before then. On Sept. 10, the Cougars travel to Silverwood Theme Park in Idaho to take part in the Silverwood Coaster Cross. the boys JV begin racing at 8:30 a.m.