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Cross Country Season Wrap-Up

November 17, 2012
Augusta Independent Schools

The Augusta Cross Country program recently concluded its second season.  Starting in the hot days of July, the team had a positive journey that concluded with two individuals competing in the state championship.  While that may have been the highlight of the season, there were several bright spots along the way.  The team had several top 10 finishes by individual runners.  The recent team record was set by Camryn Snapp when he ran a 17:58 at the Ryle Invitational.  The middle school team had a 1st place finisher in David Reed at the Bluegrass Conference Meet.  Camryn Snapp and Tanner Kelsch also both were named 1st Team in the Buffalo Trace Conference and 2nd team in Area 7.

                “I feel we had a successful season,” Augusta Coach Tim Litteral reflected.  “One of the goals we set at the beginning of the season was to have a top five finisher, and we did that at both the middle school and high school level.  But we were successful in other ways that don’t always receive recognition.  We had a junior (Dylan Archibald) come out for his first season and decrease his time nearly six minutes.  We had a seventh grader (Thomas Mains) run as part of the varsity team in his first season and run in the low twenties.  Those are things we can build upon.”

                Augusta loses two seniors.  Ian Riggins was out most of the season due to injury.   Tanner Kelsch, on the other hand, led the Panthers not only as team captain, but was also always one of the team’s top two finishers.  “I feel like I accomplished a lot of goals this year,” Kelsch said.  “I started off slow but continued to work to get better … and was happy to drastically improve my times from last year.”  While he has given much to his team, Kelsch sees the benefits he has received as well.  “I feel like I became a stronger leader the way I came into the season.  I didn’t have much time to practice because of GSP (Governor’s Scholar Program), so I felt like I was behind.  I didn’t let it discourage me, and I did what I had to do.  I also feel like I have I have more endurance and stamina for basketball.  Overall, I hope I left something behind and I hope Dylan, Camryn, and the younger runners can follow in my footsteps and be successful for Augusta.”

                “I can’t say enough about Tanner,” Litteral said.  “He had a great academic opportunity in being selected for the Governor’s Scholar Program, but that did put him behind in his training.  He was able to work hard though and get to where we needed him to be.  He is also a true teammate and is always encouraging and supporting those guys.”

                Stepping into that senior leadership role next season could be Dylan Archibald.  “This year I thought I did very well for my first season of cross country with cutting six minutes off my first race time, Archibald stated.  “Next year, I’m looking forward to pushing myself even harder to be able to try and get my time in the mid 18:00s or low 19:00s.” 

                “Dylan has the potential to be one of our leaders because of his work ethic and attitude,” said Litteral.  “He really came in with an attitude of wanting to improve and get better every time he stepped on the race course.”

                Camryn Snapp, one of the two state qualifiers, is already looking forward to next year and replicating what he was able to do this season.  “I can’t wait to work hard next season and possibly get the opportunity to run the course at state again and improve my place and time,” Snapp commented. 

                “Our expectations are high for Camryn,” Litteral said.  “We’re relying on him to lead this team on the course and obviously be our top runner.  However, he can’t do it alone.  We need a couple of runners at least in the 19:00s.  I’m still promoting this team to athletes in our school and trying to encourage those who I feel can be successful to come out.”

                In looking at next season, Augusta would like to add a girls’ team.  This year, sophomore Jerica Kelsch did run a couple of races, but there were several conflicts with volleyball.  “Now that we have a district championship volleyball team, it could make it that much harder to get girls to come out,” Litteral joked, “but we would like to get some girls running.”  Other goals for Coach Litteral as he enters the off season are to continue building the middle school program and look into the possibility of adding an elementary team.  “I really feel if we can get our feeder programs up and running successfully, it’s going to improve our future high school teams and give us more numbers.  If they’re already accustomed to running, I feel like we’ll be able to get more athletes to come out at the high school level.”

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