By Jacki Wood
The Platte Valley girls cross country team will be fairly young as it enters the 2019 season but head coach Julie McConkey will look to her returning runners for leadership.
“We are a young team, but we have strong leadership from our more experienced runners,” McConkey said, who enters her third year with the team. She will once again be assisted by Wendy Riley.
“Last year, our team showed continued development in the season,” she said. “I expect for that to continue this year. We have a number of new runners who will make an immediate impact on our team scoring as well as improve individually. I am excited to see what we will do.”
Platte Valley will be without two very successful runners who graduated, former state champion Ashley Riley and state qualifier Sydney Billings, who are both running on the collegiate level this fall.
McConkey said seniors Bailey Farnan and Layla Wolf bring a lot of experience to the team.
“They are both seasoned runners who have worked hard to bring leadership to our team,” she said.
Two other runners are also returning, junior Jayme Kemper and sophomore Sierra Wiederholt.
“All four have shown improvement,” she said, “and I am excited to see what they can do this year.”
She said the team will continue to work on general pacing, hills and strong finishes as they look to compete at meets, especially the conference and district races.
“As a team, the girls determined that they would like to work hard to win a conference title as well as qualify for the state meet as a team,” McConkey said. “I am very excited about the commitment these girls have shown this summer. Many of them came to every workout possible and showed great determination.”
The Platte Valley girls kick off the season on Tuesday, September 3 at Maryville.