The Columbia Falls cross-country program should be solid again this year. Coach Richard Menicke said he has high hopes for both the boys and girls squads.
Last year, the girls took second in the conference and fourth at state. The core of the squad is returning, save for Jinise Osborne who graduated,.
“I’m super excited about the girls that are returning. They just missed getting a medal at state last year,” he said.
The team is anchored by Samantha Mundeyhjl, Tori Price, Carlee Brown and Meredith Stolte. All told, eight girls make up the squad.
The boys side has stronger numbers, with 13 on the team. Menicke is looking for good things from juniors Zayne Brunz and James Ratzlaff. Shonn Roberts, who was a state champion wrestler as a freshman last year, also joined the team and is running well, Menicke noted.
“We also have an excellent injection of new kids,” he said. “The boys numbers are looking really good.”
Menicke has been coaching for 17 years — four as head coach. This year he’s assisted by Paula Koch. Koch coached cross country at the junior high for two years as well as track. She’s a Spanish teacher at the school and an avid runner.
“I’m very excited to have her and her energy,” Menicke said.