School: Caesar Rodney High School

Nickname: Riders

2012 Record: (Boys) 10-0 (Girls) 10-0

Key Returning Players: (Boys) P.J. Gallucci, Sam Phillips (Girls) Rebekah Mills

Key Newcomers: (Boys) Gray Krewson (Girls) Christine Marks

Season Outlook: After 10-0 campaigns by both the boys and girls Caesar Rodney Cross Country teams last season, they return to the track looking to duplicate and improve upon those impressive numbers. As a whole, the Riders have lost some talent to graduation; however, both squads boast a number of talented returning runners, including some underclassmen looking to make some noise for the Riders. Like any successful cross country team, the key to winning can lie within the numbers game. For CR, having enough competing runners won’t be a problem. The goal for both CR teams is to walk away with a Henlopen Conference title, and once again make an impact at the State Championships.

Coach’s Quote: “We want to do our best and constantly strive to improve up through the state meet,” said Riders Cross Country Coach Mike Tucci. “We would like to improve our standing in the state meet and win the conference and county championships.”

School: Dover High School

Nickname: Senators

2012 Record: (Boys) 6-5 (Girls) 7-4

Key Returning Players: (Boys)Charles Thurman, Ifunanya Nwogbaga, Clarence Spencer, Brandon Clayville (Girls) Ave Burleigh, Kaitlyn Reed, Alice Miller, Brianna Solomon

Key Newcomers: (Boys) Sean Saxton, Adam Spencer, Paris Stevens (Girls) Hayleigh Jimenez, Collen Megill, Lindsay Spencer, Alexandra Herbison

Season Outlook: The Dover Cross Country team took a positive step forward last season as they continue to try and grow their program. Without the advantage of a large roster of runners, for both the Boys and Girls teams, the Senators were able to post a respectable record in 2012. This season, the goal is to continue the growth that started last season, and perhaps improve upon their respective records from last year’s campaign. Whether or not they improve will depend upon Dover’s returning runners stepping their games up and inspiring the newer, younger runners to do the same. While wins and losses are a part of sports, Dover will be looking mostly for another jump in improvement this upcoming season.

Coach’s Quote: “Both teams should be competitive in the conference, we should have some outstanding individual performances this year,” said Dover Head Coach James Solomon. “Our staff will have to be patient with the inexperience runners, and our focus will be to increase the number of participants each year.”

School: Polytech High School

Nickname: Riders: Panthers

2012 Record: (Boys) 4-6 (Girls) 4-6

Key Returning Players:  (Boys) Keith Obiero, Kaleb Burd (Girls) Emma Cote, Bethany West

Key Newcomers: (Boys) Brian Perry, Zai Cook, Connor Ohea (Girls) Alexa Baurys, Elizabeth Wright

Season Outlook: The Polytech Panthers cross country squad is entering a season of transition as they continue to build their program. This season, the Panthers will be competing in the much tougher Henlopen North Division with schools like Dover, Caesar Rodney, Smyrna and Sussex Central. While the goal is always to win, the Panthers are trying to build a program that won’t just be successful for one season but one that will be able to compete at a high level for years to come. Going up against some of the toughest competition in the state will help the Panthers adjust but positive results may not be seen immediately. The hope is the Panthers can lean on their returning runners, while their underclassmen gain much needed experience. Polytech may get lost in the shuffle within the Henlopen North this season, but they’re certainly on the right track toward success.

Coach’s Quote: “Polytech is now competing with bigger schools as we are now competing in the Henlopen North,” said Panthers Head Coach Jason Bonner. “I expect to maintain the same level of intensity as last year as we face bigger schools. We are looking for our front runners such as our seniors as well as Zai Cook, Connor Ohea, Alexa Baurys and Elizabeth Wright.”

School: Lake Forest High School

Nickname: Spartans

2012 Record: (Boys) 3-8 (Girls) 3-7

Key Returning Players: (Boys) Bryan Wright, Jake Symons (Girls) Taylor Rosser, Jessalynn Kenton, Kathryn Nichols, Ashley Mogel

Key Newcomers: (Boys) Alex Argo (Girls) Taylor Alcocer

Season Outlook: Many cross country programs have a tough time in the beginning stages, mostly due to low numbers in regards to runners. The Lake Forest Spartans are no different in this instance as they, like several other local teams, try to build their cross country program. While the girls’ team may be ahead of the boys in terms of growth, the Spartans are hoping to field competitive teams on both sides.

Coach’s Quote: “The Boys team is light on numbers currently, but we’re hoping to get more bodies out once the school year starts,” said Lake Forest Cross Country Coach Chris Kenton. “The Girls team has one of its largest turnouts in recent history, with several girls hoping to push for all-conference honors.

School: St. Thomas More High School

Nickname: Ravens

2012 Record: (Boys) 1-6 (Girls) 0-1

Key Returning Players: (Boys) Chris Dean (Girls)

Key Newcomers: (Boys) Wesley Orth, Jon Titus (Girls) Megan Sullivan, Molly McElligott

Season Outlook: Like many smaller schools, the St. Thomas More Ravens Cross Country squad is still in the process of building their program. And the first step to building a successful cross country program is bolstering your roster. While it’s been a struggle to field an entire team on both the boys and girls side, the Ravens are ready to compete hoping to send several runners to the State Championships.