By: John Raffel
Freeland girls expect strong cross country season
By John Raffel
Coach George Drown expect to have successful cross country teams at Freeland this season,
“Our girls team finished 2nd in the TVC - Central to Shepherd last year,” he said. “We won the Saginaw County Championship, won our regional championship, and finished 13th in the state in division two. Madison O’Deay is our loan varsity graduate. Madison was also our captain for our program. She was our No/ 5 runner and really came up big for us at the regional meet to help us secure that title.”
Drown lists the following as key runners:
Kiera Hansen - Sophomore. Kiera is the reigning county champion and regional champion and runner up in the TVC-Central to Amber Gall from Shepherd. Kiera also finished all-state. I expect Kiera to have very similar results this season improving her time and moving up in the finals race.
Whitney Farrell - Sophomore. Whitney was our #2 runner last season. She finished 1st team all-conference, 1st team all-TVC, 1st team all-county, and first team all-region. Her and Kiera made a powerful 1-2 punch for our girls team.
Peyton Hansen - Senior. Peyton was our 3-4 runner last season. Peyton finished 2nd team all-conference, 2nd team all-tvc, 1st team all-county, and first team all-region.
Ally Harvey - Sophomore. Ally was our 3-4 runner last season. Ally finished 2nd team all-conference, 3rd team all-tvc, 1st team all-county, and 1st team all-region.
Mara Longenecker - Sophomore. Mara was our #6 runner last season and was 2nd team all-conference, 3rd team all-TVC, 2nd team all-county, 1st team all-region.
Caitlyn Mieske - Junior. Caitlyn was our #7 runner last season and finished 3rd team all-county and will serve as our captain this season.
“Our girls team hopes to contend for the conference, county, and regional titles again this season. Our goal is a top 10 finish in the state,” Drown said. “I think by the end of the season we could have 14 girls under 22:00. For a smaller D2 school that is fantastic. Our biggest challenge this season will be the transition from a dark horse team in our region to the new front runner. We are still in a very competitive regional with teams like Frankenmuth, Flint Powers, and Corunna. As the defending regional champions we understand that we will have a target on our back. One of my jobs as their coach is to help mentally prepare them for that change.
“I think our conference will be strong this year. We lose a perennial powerhouse in Shepherd, but we gain another great program in Frankenmuth. Our team hopes to compete for the conference title, but understand it will not be easy.”