GALION — Will familiarity lead to success for Northmor’s cross country teams.
For the boys, they will take off for year No. 2 in the Knox-Morrow Athletic Conference and for the third year with head coach Kevin Ruhl.
After finishing third overall in the KMAC a season ago behind Mount Gilead and Fredericktown, the Knights hope their experience level gives them a much needed push.
“Fredericktown and Mount Gilead are the two teams to beat on the boys side,” Ruhl said. ” We hope we get into their class by the end of the season. With all of the guys returning having multiple years of varsity experience, I am hoping that our overall top-10 kids just work to improve their best times from 2017. If they can do that, we can compete with those two at the top of our conference.”
Leading the way for will be junior Gavin Keen. Keen earned all-conference first-team honors last season and will lead the Knights into battle this season. Fellow junior Austin Amens will be back after his second-team all-conference season last year and will be joined by a senior duo of Ryan Bentley and BJ White, both honorable mention in 2017, as well as Alec Moore, to lead the team to the top of the KMAC standings.
Leading the Lady Knights into battle this fall will be Mark Yaussy, whose coaching career exists entirely at Northmor (21 years). Yaussy hopes to see improvement from the fourth-place finish in last year’s KMAC championships, even those his squad did earn district runner-up status.
“We have a smaller team this year, so injuries are a concern that I have,” says Yaussy. “What we do have is a group of girls that are committed to working hard and getting better…I’m very excite to coach this group and watch each runner improve each and every week.”
Most everyone from a year ago will be back with the exception of multi-award winning, multi-sport standout Brooke Bennett, who graduated last spring.
Yaussy will see Julianna DiTullio, Sabrina Kelley, Julia Kanagy, Carolyn McGaulley, Olivia Goodson and Christy Wright back out on the course this season. Kanagy was named honorable mention KMAC last year. Joining the returning athletes will be a pair of freshmen in the likes of Maddison Yaussy and Bailey Snyder.
“Our conference will be one of the toughest in the area…Mount Gilead will be very good and Centerburg and Fredericktown should be competitive as well,” finishes Yaussy. All three of those teams finished ahead of the ladies from Northmor in the KMAC meet in 2017.
The Knights will host the Northmor Invitational to begin their season on Monday, August 20. Later that week, Northmor will head to Colonel Crawford for the Early Bird Invite on Saturday, August 25.