Five questions about West Jessamine Cross Country
Published 3:54 pm Friday, October 28, 2022
West Jessamine Cross Country Coaches Grant Rowe and Hayden Dwyer had a conversation about their teams with JJ Contributing Writer Gillian Stawiszynski in August.
Question: Who are your key players this year?
“Our girls are led by Junior Esther Kratzer and Freshman Lily Greathouse. Esther and Lily were 2nd and 3rd, respectively in last year’s KHSAA Region 7 Class AAA, and recently at the Midsummer Night’s Run, Lily finished 2nd and Esther 3rd so they are already off to a great start.”Juniors Layni Shouse and Sam Coppege provide us with a tremendous amount of experience and leadership. Finally, freshmen Piper Stevens, Hannah Calhoun, and Jana Johnston will be pushing the older girls for a spot in the top 7. On the Boys’ side, we are led by a trio of Sophomores, Andrew Weaver Swartz, his twin brother Jonathan Weaver Swartz, and Ethan Adams. Newcomer, Matthew Martin, a junior, is also expected to contribute in a big fashion as soon as he can get fully healthy. Rounding out the top 7 will be Freshman Ben Swartz, Senior Shawn Poage, and Freshman Zach Hamilton.”
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Question: Were there any key players from last year you had to replace?
“The girls lost two extremely talented runners from last year’s team. Ava Miller, who graduated and is now running for Asbury University, and Kiersten Stryker has taken a break from Cross Country this season. The boys lost 6 members of the starting 7 from last year. Big holes were left behind by David Durrance, Johnathan Strange, Mark Weber, Zach Burge, Zeke Miller, and Michael Kock but this year’s squad is really stepping up.”
Question: What are your team’s strengths this year?
“The best thing about this year’s team is that they really care for one another. Cross Country is a very hard sport, and it means so much when a teammate can lift you up and encourage you. It’s much easier to log hundreds of miles a season when you like the people you run with, and they are right there to celebrate with you or console you when you need it.”
Question: What do you think your team will have to improve on as the season progresses?
“Our teams are pretty young. We will have to run older than our age. We will have to have the courage to run with the Big Dogs and not get caught staying on the porch. They are more talented than they realize, but they’ve bought into the training, and it should be really fun to watch them reach their potential.”
Question: What races are your team most excited for?
“There are probably 3 races that we are especially excited for. First, the Rumble thru the Jungle on Sept 10th because we traditionally get to travel and make an overnight trip out of it. It’s in a Nature Preserve so the natural beauty is a special perk for the runners. Secondly, the Chick Fil A Invitational since it is our home meet. It will be Sep 30 and Oct 1st at Lone Oak Golf Course. We expect to host over 60 teams and 1200 athletes. Finally, the KHSAA Class AAA Region 7 at Masterson Station.This is the meet that decides who advances to the state championship. We hope to be peaking at this time and run our fastest of the season.”