PREP BOYS CROSS COUNTRY: Westview, West Noble lead area boys teams

Runners from Wawasee, Concord and Goshen take off during the cross country dual meet between the three schools at Shanklin Park in Goshen in this 2018 file photo.

GOSHEN — The Northeast Corner Conference looks to have two more state championship contenders this year as Westview and West Noble return many key pieces from their 2018 boys cross country state qualifying teams.

Both teams were ranked in the preseason top 25 poll by the IATCCC. The Warriors were fourth, while the Chargers came in at 24th. Westview finished 16th at the state meet a season ago, while West Noble finished 20th.

“We are looking to make another run to the state finals. We have the talent, we have the numbers, and we have way more experience than last year’s team,” Westview coach Les Hively said. “At the sectional last year, five of the seven runners had never run that race. Our goal is to be the best team in Northeast Indiana and push ourselves to be an elite state team.”

“The team has put in the mileage this summer and is anxious to compete. We have very high expectations,” West Noble coach Russell Emmert added.

The Northern Lakes Conference is wide open in 2019, as Goshen and Concord look to reload after losing strong 2018 senior classes. Schools like Northridge and NorthWood will look to have rebound seasons as well.

“We are excited to get back at this season. Last year was a little disappointing going 0-7 in the NLC, so we are hoping to be much more competitive this year. We had a great summer training and have one of the biggest teams that we have had with 26 on the roster,” Northridge coach Ryan McClane said.

Austin Hough can be reached at austin.hough@goshennews.com or 574-533-2151, ext. 325. Follow Austin on Twitter @AustinHoughTGN

BETHANY CHRISTIAN

Head Coach: Benjamin Hurst

Number of years as head coach: 7

Assistant Coaches: Katie Hurst

Previous year’s record: 3-10

Returning letterwinners: Seniors — Jacob Plank, Kelby Youngberg; Juniors — Andrew Hoang, Aaron Yeakey

Other varsity candidates: Yeakey; Freshmen — Gabriel Clark, Sam Klopfenstein

Comments: “It’s going to be a fun year to watch what our guys can do this year,” coach Hurst said. “This group worked really hard this off season to get themselves ready to start the season.”

CONCORD

Head Coach: Matt Nicoson

Number of years as head coach: 7

Assistant Coaches: Gregg Lee, Luis Herrera

Previous year’s record: 6-3

Returning letterwinners: Seniors — Luke Owings (2nd in NLC and 35th place at semistate 2018. 16:18 PR), Noah Wright (PR: 17:14), Richard Pietrariu, Andres Mejia; Juniors — Will Nicoson (PR: 17:32), Bryce Cook, Kevin Cruz; Sophomore — Ethan Smith (PR: 18:14)

Other varsity candidates: Seniors — Juan Cortes, Gage Riggle, Eli DeLeon, Christian Troncoso; Juniors — Erik Yeater, Riley McEachern, Jake Searer; Sophomores — Ethan Smith, Michael Woolf; Freshmen — Matthew Godzisz, Colyn Chris, Nick Weldy, Martin Centeno 9, Chad Kennedy, Joel Marrufo, Jeshua Sotelo, Jonathan Watson; Student Manager — Vanessa Creightney

Comments: “Even though we lost a couple key varsity guys to graduation and one to soccer, we should be very competitive this season,” coach Nicoson said. “We also welcome eight freshmen and three other newcomers to the team, giving us some building blocks for the future. A couple of the freshmen could challenge for varsity spots by October, which is exciting.”

FAIRFIELD

Head Coach: Kirt Hunsberger

Previous year’s record: 7-17

Returning letterwinners: Seniors — Isaak Stingel, Jaren Hagerman, Jared Hagerman, Jordan Gates, Seth Corbin, Jeno Leavitt; Sophomores — Jenson Long, Josh Moreland.

Other varsity candidates: Junior — Steven Plett; Freshmen — Mathias Corbin, Zachariah Miller, Bryson Moser

Comments: “We should have a strong pack. We have several guys fighting for the top spot. We have a bit more depth and are working on developing that out to seven guys,” coach Hunsberger said. “We should pick up a few more wins as this is a better overall team than we had last year. We have a couple newcomers that are in the mix and working hard.”

GOSHEN

Head Coach: Mike Wynn

Number of years as head coach: 27

Assistant Coaches: Lee Wynn, Chris Dubois, Alejandro Rodriguez

Previous year’s record: 7-2

Returning letterwinners: Seniors — Griffin Hetler; Juniors — Ryan Diaz, Jacob Near; Sophomores — Cole Johnston, Adrian Mora

Other varsity candidates: Seniors — Lucas Bontrager-Waite, Jose Esqueda, Levi Graber, Shawn Gulec, Simon Hertzler, Conrad Liechty, Jose Sanchez, Edwin Sixtos, Daniel Welling, D’elia Isacco; Juniors — Jocsan Barahona, Isaiah Dilworth, Seth Kauffman, Evan Ponce; Sophomores — Kento Baumann, Alan Bautista, Jackson Gaby, Logan Harkenrider, Angel Hernandez, Eli Hochstedler, Drew Hogan, Austin Nettrouer, Mario Santos, Karanbir Singh, Michael Smith, Tyler Wiese, Jose Cedeno; Freshmen — Jonathan Beas, Oliver Biek, Tommy Claxton, Brandon Diaz, David Dominguez, Eduardo Gonzales, Mick Molina, Bryan Sixtos

Comments: “The boys lost a very good senior class, but we should be able to pick up where we left off,” coach Wynn said.

LAKELAND

Head Coach: Guy Glick

Number of years as head coach: 2

Returning letterwinners: Junior — Lucas Begly; Sophomore — Terance Blankenship

Other varsity candidates: Junior — Hunter Thompson; Sophomores — Zach Chambless; Freshmen — Christian Troyer, Zeke Wachtman, Konner Palmer

Comments: “We are excited to field a full team this year and hope that our return letter winners can lead us to a successful season,” coach Glick said.

NORTHRIDGE

Head Coach: Ryan McClane

Number of years as head coach: 8

Assistant Coaches: Andy Williams, Sam Miller, Jennifer Schrock

Previous year’s record: 0-7 (NLC)

Returning letterwinners: Seniors — Jared Schwartz, Jon Eichstadt, Wyatt Simmons, Isaac Zmuda, Zach Smaka; Juniors — Andrew Eichstadt, Bryce McMann, Andrew Miller, Jack Moore, Michael Canfield, Nathan Perez

Other varsity candidates: Seniors — Tanner Salee; Juniors —Bodie Hunt, Nick Terranova; Sophomores —Brendan Gleim, Matt Friesner; Freshmen — Jonathan Spicher, Chris Carmichael, Austin Abelseth, Brock Reschly, Sam Eichstadt, Jaxon Miller, Noah Zmuda, Kaleb Ellis, Aiden Bemis, Brandon Olson

Comments: “We have many guys returning from last year’s team like Jon Eichstadt, Jack Moore, and Nathan Perez along with a large group of freshmen including Jaxon Miller and Noah Zmuda that will definitely help us fill in some of the gaps we were missing last year,” coach McClane said. “We will still have a lot of building to do, but I look for us to get better and better as the season goes on and hopefully be in contention for a conference title and a strong tournament showing by the time we get to October.”

NORTHWOOD

Head Coach: Justin Bell

Number of years as head coach: 11

Assistant Coaches: Adam Polhemus

Previous year’s record: 7th in NLC, 6th in Elkhart Sectional.

Varsity roster: Seniors — Timothy Avery, Quinten Hunsberger, Cade Jackson, Carson Martin, Garrett Myers, Stephen Schmidt, Zachary Yoder, Andrew Miller, Asher Yoder; Juniors — Ethan Neff, Eric Hochstetler, Jordan Mitschelen, Austin Escamilla, Bennett Davis, Sam Schlatterm, Weston Miller, Reid Nunemaker, Jacob Raasch, Timothy Bartley, Preston Roa, Nate Rulli; Sophomores — Brady Hunsberger, Clayton Martin, Austin Miller, Grady Stevenson, Titus Stutsman, Kyle Walters, Aidan Wolfe, Matt Birk, Drew Callander; Freshmen — Trenton Beer, Jordan Burden, Alan Castro, Cole Davies, Evan Garner, Brady Hartman, Daniel Medina, Owen Miller, Skee Mishler, Jacob Moyer, Markuz Piercy, Ian Raasch

Comments: “Our seniors have led well throughout the summer training and have set the tone for a competitive season,” coach Bell said.

WAWASEE

Head Coach: Chad Hoffert

Number of years as head coach: 5

Assistant Coaches: Andy Kryder, Dave Stookey

Previous year’s record: 5-5

Returning letterwinners: Seniors — Michael Hammer, Thomas Conley; Juniors — Karlson Hand, Jace Alexander; Sophomore — Cam Powell

Other varsity candidates: Senior — Jaydon Boyer; Junior — Kaiden Ruff; Sophomores — Cam Powell, Ian Kaase, Trevor Smith, Preston Shelton; Freshmen — Josiah Boyer, Dominic Speybroeck, Nate Kryder, Brayden Mickley, Keegan Hurst

WEST NOBLE

Head Coach: Russell Emmert

Number of years as head coach: 13

Assistant Coaches: Tyler Alles, Michael Flora

Returning letterwinners: Seniors — Colten Cripe (PR 16:21), Abraham Longoria (PR 16:33), Nathan Mast (PR 16:54), Michael Weaver (PR 16:59), Ryan Reyes; Junior — Isaac Flora; Sophomores — Cameron Dupuy, Isaac Campos

Other varsity candidates: Freshmen — Grant Flora, Isaiah Lowe, Austin Cripe, Isaac Silva, Logan Schuller

WESTVIEW

Head Coach: Les Hively

Number of years as head coach: 13

Assistant Coaches: Matt Jones

Previous year’s record: (17-0 NECC) 23-0 Season. 1st Sectional, 3rd Regional, 4th Semi-State, 16th State

Returning letterwinners: Seniors — Dylan Nowicki, Anthony Schwartz, Darrion Thornburgh; Juniors — Remington Carpenter, Spencer Carpenter, Andrew Cupp, Dominic Hostetler; Sophomore — Isaac Niccum, Anthony Sanchez

Other varsity candidates: Senior — Jorge Jimenez; Junior — Ryan Lapp; Freshmen — Chad Hershberger, Kayden Moore, Lyndon Miller, Xander Wood

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