Freshman class to help Chippewa harriers

Manistee High School’s 2017 cross coutry teams: Front row, from left: Declan McCann, Taylor Murray, Kendahl Wright, Erin Dorn Olivia Holtgren, Ciera Anderson and Trent Beaudrie. Back row, from left: Head coach Andy Anderson, Elliot Kamaloski, Carter Kissell, Anthony Lind, Taylor Williams, Cameron Edmondson, Sydney Williams, Emma Witkowski and Grace Jankwietz. (Brian Fogg/News Advocate)

Manistee High School’s 2017 cross coutry teams: Front row, from left: Declan McCann, Taylor Murray, Kendahl Wright, Erin Dorn Olivia Holtgren, Ciera Anderson and Trent Beaudrie. Back row, from left: Head coach Andy Anderson, Elliot Kamaloski, Carter Kissell, Anthony Lind, Taylor Williams, Cameron Edmondson, Sydney Williams, Emma Witkowski and Grace Jankwietz. (Brian Fogg/News Advocate)

Manistee cross country is bringing in a deep squad that could make some noise late in the season.

The Chippewas looks to be competitive on both the boys and girls sides with hopes of running into the late fall at the state finals.

The teams will have about 28 total runners, and have a lot of returning talent mixed in with a strong freshman class.

Head coach Andy Anderson thinks some of the incoming freshman can contribute right away with runners like Olivia Holtgren for the girls and Declan McCann for the boys.

“We have a lot of returners this year. We lost three seniors from last year and we’ve kind of replaced them all. I think we have four of five new freshmen on the team, and that’s pretty encouraging,” he said. “They were on coach (Eric) Thuemmel’s middle school team last year and I had the pleasure of seeing them race last year for the first time at the Briggs meet in Ludington. They took the top seven.”

The boys will have five of their top seven runners back, which will make the the early going easier. They will be led by Elliot Kamaloski, Bradlee Popkowski, Junior Sarabia and Anthony Lind, but will also have contributors with McCann, two exchange students and a new student named Ransom Hoeflinger.

“He (Hoeflinger) was running with Bradlee and Elliot the other day and they never went over 7:18 per mile. I don’t think this kid has ever run in his life,” Anderson said.

The girls are top heavy with their team this season led by Noelle Fink, who went to the state finals last year, and Erin Dorn, who went two years ago but battled injuries all of last season.

Anderson expects Holtgren, Sara Thompson and Kendahl Wright to fill in behind them.

“Noelle was the only one to go to state last year. Erin went the year before, but she was injured last year. This year she is a whole a new person. She went to state for track and just killed it. I’m really excited,” Anderson said. “We had a whole summer of her being healthy and now she’s going into the fall top notch. I think we’re going to have three girls competing for the top spot this year.”

 The Chippewas will kick off the season on Monday, August 26 at the Muskegon Orchard View Cardinal Invitational.

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Posted by Brian Fogg

Brian is the sports writer for the Manistee News Advocate. You can reach him at (231) 398-3110 or bfogg@pioneergroup.com.

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