Runners to watch: Rachel Gerick, Sr. (19:08 PR); Ariana Steele, So. (20:30 PR); Sierra Beach, Sr. (21:06 PR); Riley Tuerff, Sr. (20:57 PR).
Outlook: Young, but hungry. That might be the best way to describe the Slicers this season. With a youthful core, the team is striving to peak for the postseason.
Quote: “Senior Rachel Gerick and sophomore Ariana Steele should vie for the No. 1 runner spot this year,” La Porte coach John Dearing said. “Seniors Sierra Beach and Riley Tuerff will fill in two more varsity spots, and then, we have five freshmen that will be competing for the remaining varsity spots.
“Due to our youth, we anticipate starting out slow, but we hope to be in a position to advance come sectional time. Rachel is on pace to have a great senior season, Ariana has the potential to be one of the best in the area, and we are really excited to see what our freshmen can do.”
Newcomers who could possibly contribute are Ella Dubbs, Fr., Rylee Stephany, Fr., Lilly Burke, Fr., Ali Bender, Fr., and Gracie Lowe, Fr.
La Porte placed 19th at state last year, its fifth straight season at state.
Runner to watch: Rory Neary, Sr.
Outlook: Neary is joined by three freshmen with new coach Mike Bogan hoping to add a fifth, which would give the Blazers their first complete team in several years.
Quote: “Rory looks to have her best season ever after putting in the miles over the summer.” -- Bogan
Runners to watch: Bridget Mark, Jr.; Brikea Sherrod, Sr.
Outlook: Coach Mike Liss has a mix of senior and rookie talent though the transfer of two runners to New Prairie hampers City’s depth. Mark and Sherrod are both contenders for semistate.
Runners to watch: Callie Metzger, Sr.; Juliana Kroll, Jr.; Gabby Peters, Sr.; Alexa Zeese, Sr.; Sage Mougin, So.
Outlook: The Cougars return six of the top seven from a regional qualifier and have a wealth of newcomers in Allie Palmer, Claudia Bisping, Hannah Chlebowski, Julia Jones and Sydney Moody, who didn’t run last season, and Kayla Walsworth and Serena Cuevas, who transferred from Michigan City.
Quote: “We have quite a few new faces. We are looking for lots of PRs and general improvements. The team is very positive and a great group of girls on and off the course. We are hoping to advance through to regionals or semistate this season.” -- coach Julie Jeszenszky
-- compiled by H-A Sports Writers