Creekview cross country looking at a breakthrough season
by Emily Horos
ehoros@cherokeetribune.com
August 08, 2014 12:53 AM | 2854 views | 0 0 comments | 9 9 recommendations | email to a friend | print
The Creekview boys and girls cross country teams return many of their best runners from last year and are looking to 2014 for a big breakthrough season in state competition.
The Creekview boys and girls cross country teams return many of their best runners from last year and are looking to 2014 for a big breakthrough season in state competition.
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There is a buzz of optimism at Creekview as the cross country season begins.

Both the girls and boys squads return the bulk of their rosters from 2013.

The Lady Grizzlies, who placed ninth in the Class AAAAA state meet a year ago, return five of their seven runners.

Creekview girls cross country coach Michael Sinco said the team has set obtainable goals.

“The team is focused on winning our region and improving our state standing this year in the newly reconfigured Class AAAAA,” Brown said.

Leading the returning runners is senior captain Rachel Boulineau, who was an all-region selection last year.

Sinco believes that Boulineau could place in the top 10 in the state.

“Coming off a strong track season and leading the team through summer workouts, she wants to finish off her high school career with a school record and a scholarship to a Division I school.”

Also returning are juniors Dara Staton, Annie Conrad and Tara Bilodeau and sophomore Kendel Bennett. Staton has competed in several community 5K runs during the summer and has been within seconds of setting a new personal record. Bennett earned an all-county honorable mention after her freshman season and looks to significantly improve.

Sinco also calls sophomore Molly Morris a “person to watch” after she placed second in her age group at the Run with the Chiefs this summer and improved her personal best by more than 3 minutes.

Sinco said many of his runners participated in the community 5K, Run with the Chiefs. He was able to use that to evaluate newcomers. Among those making solid debuts were senior Melanie Gerdes, junior Lauren Wallin and freshmen Kennedy Cater and Bella Thomas.

“Overall, our team goals are to improve our finish in the county and at state, while winning Region 7AAAAA,” Sinco said. “The coaches have already met our goal of doubling the size of the team and getting increased participation through summer conditioning. If we can avoid injuries, which befuddled us last year, then we have the ability to do great things.”

On the boys’ side, the situation is just as solid. Four of the top five runners from 2013 return and newcomers will add some needed depth.

Boys’ coach Tyrom Brown said his team was disappointed when it didn’t qualify for state last year.

“The young men of Creekview were bitterly disappointed last year when they missed qualifying for state and they have set a goal this season to win region, which guarantees a trip to the state meet,” Brown said.

In addition to that, the team set the goal of running a team average of 17 minutes 15 seconds at the state meet, which would put them in contention for the Class AAAAA title.

Creekview returns Brennan Garriques, who set the Creekview cross country record with a time of 15:51 last season. Also returning are juniors Nick Turano, Grant Slater, while Chris Oswald moved into the district from Johns Creek were he ran varsity as a sophomore. Elliot Conrad, a sophomore, and freshman Zac Cantrell will also contribute.

Turano and Slate are both back for their third season with the Grizzlies. Both have been active over the summer. Turano ran a 17:04 in Woodstock’s July 4 Freedom run and Slater ran a 17:52 at the Run with the Chiefs 5K on Aug. 1.

Conrad had a breakout season as a freshman. He earned the title of “Fastest Freshman” with a time of 17:35, a record formerly held by Garriques, who set the mark as a freshman in 2011. Cantrell joins the team after finishing third at the 2013 USATF Georgia Track and Field Championships with a time of 14:03 in the 4,000 meter run.

Also on the roster are Bert Sloan, Joe Dipietro, Zach Merges, Anthony Thomas, Ryan Camp, Kyle Basila, Gavin Garcia, Ryan Chiavelli and Jonathan Cook.

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