Posted: Thursday, 08 August 2013 10:38AM

Sparta cross country must fill graduation losses

Sparta, Mo. (  -- Coach Monica Wallace begins her 10th season as head cross country coach at Sparta.  Wallace, after a three-year run of finishing third, second and third in the boys state meet, will begin a rebuilding process.

“This year we will be going through a rebuilding process to a certain extent. We lost a big part of our team to graduation,” she said.  “I feel good in the leadership abilities that Traven and Tristan Eaton have shown in our summer workouts.”

Senior Kyle Reeves, along with newcomers Logan Woods and Braxton Lilly are young but can help the team meet their goals. One of these goals is to build the team and get stronger as the season progresses.

“We hope to run well in our conference meet and finish as a top 2 team in districts to get back to state in November,” Wallace said. “The boys know the amount of focus and dedication it will take to get back there as a team.”

The Lady Trojans return three runners from last year’s team, senior Kaylee Baughman, senior Makayla Tipton and sophomore Ashley Hutchinson. Three new runners that should also make a difference will be freshman Mikayla Hutchinson, junior Alonna Johnson and senior Alex Rogers.

These Lady Trojans have their goals set high. They are focused on the “big three”, which is winning conference, finishing in the top two in districts as a team to qualify for state and then finishing among the top 10 teams at state.

”I am excited to see the desire to become faster that many of the girls have shown throughout the summer workouts,” said Wallace. ”Their hard work will pay off for them in those important moments during races. This could be one of the strongest girls’ teams we have had. I have seen such an improvement in these girls in terms of their endurance and strength."

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