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.
âWeâre not a very big school, but we have 26 kids out for cross-country which Iâm very happy about, and of those 26, we have 17 freshmen,â said coach Kostecka. âSo the leadership aspect of having Christina back is huge.â
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. âThe girls team is pretty capable, but theyâre youngâ Kostecka said. âOn the the boys side, we just have so many freshman boys--itâs incredible. So for now, when we go to invitationals, we will just run the JV race just to see where weâre at.â
The boys team looks like it will be led by freshman Caleb Montgomery.
âI think heâs going to be a really good runner, so weâll just have to see how he progresses,â said coach Kostecka. âThe 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
The Northeast A League looks to be strong again, with traditional powers Colville, Riverside and Lakeside pushing everyone else.
âItâs a really tough league, but weâre going to go out and do the best we can,â 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.