Valley Sports Report
ATHENS — A young Athens boys cross country team is looking for improvement throughout 2019, while the Lady Wildcats will also look for a small, inexperienced roster to get better as the season progresses.
Senior T.J. Toscano leads a large roster that also includes seniors Ben Biles, Nate Gorsline, and Justin Lynch, juniors Mason Henderson and Connor Dahl, and sophomores Sander Bertsch, Mason Oldroyd, Kyle Anthony and Matt Gorsline.
“TJ Toscano has been a strong leader for us the last few years and is someone that we have pretty high expectation for this season,” said Athens boys coach Mike Bronson.
Sophomore Brendon Jones, and freshmen Nate Prickitt and Dustin Krise are new to the team.
While we still have a relatively young team, our young guys gained some good varsity experience last year,” said Bronson. “We also have some new guys, who I think will be right in the mix with our more experienced runners.
“We have had a really good summer of training and the boys are fit, healthy, and excited to get the season started,” he noted.
“As always we are just looking to compete to the best of our abilities and make as much progress as we can throughout the season,” added Bronson.
AROUND THE NTL: “Wyalusing certainly has to be seen as the team that is at the top in the NTL,” said Bronson. “After them though I think there is a lot of parity among the rest of the league. I think we will be in for a lot of close exciting meets this year.”
The preseason began with just three runners on the roster, but veteran coach Scott Riley, and his trio of girls were able to recruit several runners in time for the season opener.
Sophomore Olivia Bartlow is the lone returner for the Lady Wildcats this season. She was joined from the outset by freshman Emma Bronson and Abby Prickitt.
Junior Allyson Rockwell, and sophomores Elizabeth Carrie, Arin Rockwell, Raven McCarthy-Gardner, and Emily King will also compete for the Lady Wildcats.
“Olivia (Bartlow) is our only returning runner from last year’s high school team and Emma (Bronson) and Abby (Prickitt) were leaders on a strong junior high team,” said Riley.
“We have a small roster, but they are working really hard so far,” added Riley.
AROUND THE NTL: “Troy should have a strong team returning again and I expect Wyalusing to be very competitive again this season, too,” said Riley. “Like any season, a few key additions or a few athletes deciding to not return can have a huge impact.”
Athens opens the season Saturday at the Elmira College Invitational.
IN PHOTO: Athens senior T.J. Toscano.
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