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Cross Country Gettin' Ready to Run

August 5, 2011
Cincinnati Moeller High School

Crusaders cross country to dash near dusk

7:41 pm, Aug 5, 2011 | Written by sspringer   

By Scott Springer sspringer@communitypress.com

Typically, cross country teams practice in the early morning hours during the summer months or conduct runs in the evening.  The ambitious are known to put miles in at both ends of the day.

Logically, it’s more comfortable to pound the pavement before the sun rises or as it’s setting.

Based on that, Moeller High School, the Golf Center at Kings Island and Warren County got together to begin the cross country season with the Moeller Primetime Invitational Aug. 26 on the Bruin golf course originally designed by Jack Nicklaus. The event will be held on a Friday night under lighting.

“This is something new for us this year,” Moeller coach Dave Prenger said. “We’ve been hosting a meet to open the season the last few years. The opportunity to run at the Golf Center at Kings Island came about in early January. Everything kind of fell together.”

Running the “Nick” (Nicklaus-designed course) at night is beneficial for all parties involved.

“The concept to go at night kind of came up economically,” Prenger said.  “In the morning, there would be greens fees lost. They endorsed the idea to go at night. It’s not always that you get an opportunity to run at night in our sport. We kind of hyped it up to be a ‘prime time’ event, if you will.”

Leading the Crusaders through the greens and fairways will be seniors Matt Ernstes, Jake Haigis and junior Zach Hoffman. All are returning starters.

Prenger also looks for key times from juniors Jimmy Clark, Kyle Kaiser and Andrew Mendel, as well as senior Grant Lytle.

In his third year coaching the Moeller harriers, Prenger has the Greater Catholic League pretty well sized up.

“The GCL South is extremely competitive in terms of cross country,” Prenger said. “I’d have to give the edge to Saint Xavier. They have a terrific program over there and a lot of depth, Especially, sophomore Michael Hall. He’s probably the one to be on the lookout for. Hopefully this is the year that we can get in there and mix it up with them and shake it up some in the GCL.”

After the Moeller Primetime Invitational Aug. 26, the Crusaders don’t compete in the area until October when they have the Father Rudy run against Elder and the GCL meet on successive weekends (Oct. 8 and 15).

The schedule in between consists of of the Treaty City Invitational in Greenville (Sept.3), the Tiffin Carnival Invitational in Tiffin (Sept. 10), the Alliance Invitational in Clayton (Sept.17). the Midwest Catholic Cross Country Championship in Kettering (Sept. 24), and the Pickerington North Panther Invitational (Oct. 1).

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