Vikings cross county wants to make move
Parker High’s girls cross country team will rely on five returning varsity runners in looking to improve upon last year’s eighth-place conference finish.
The Viking boys also finished eighth a year ago in the Big Eight, but bolstered by the return of six of seven varsity runners, they figure to be one of the most improved teams.
Dan Bouska, entering his 20th season as head coach, is eager to see his team run.
“Everything is very positive right now for us,” Bouska said. “We’ve trained hard, have almost everybody back from last year, and have two excellent runners at the top of our lineup with Taran Kobs and David Tyler.
“Assistant coach Guy Stricker has really done a great job helping get our guys ready for what I hope is a successful season.”
Kobs comes off a 2009 season in which he earned All-Big Eight first-team honors and came within two seconds of qualifying for the state meet. The senior is hoping to become the first Parker boys runner to qualify for state since Chris Kirkpatrick in 2003.
“Taran really came on strong last year and seems to have picked up right where he left off,” Bouska said.
“I don’t want to put a lot of added pressure on him, but he should be one of the top runners in our conference. I think he’s got a great shot at making it to state.”
Tyler, a senior, ranks just behind Kobs and gives Parker a solid 1-2 punch.
Other returning varsity runners are juniors Alex Little and Kyle Amundson, sophomore Dane Tyler and senior Joe Phillippi.
Seniors Jordan Friedrich and Jordan Dean are pushing each other for one of the final seven varsity spots.
“We’ve got a nice mix on the team with a strong senior class and some talented underclasmen,” Bouska said. “They’re all pushing each other, which from a coaching standpoint, is what you want to see.
“Our conference is as good as any in the state. We want to be competitive and work on bringing our times down as the season goes along.”
Sadie Johnson, twins Brooke and Ashley King, Miranda Slaback, and Emily Richardson return for the Parker girls.
Freshmen Jenna Cavey and Paiton Foster are expected to fill out the varsity roster, giving coach Joe LaChance plenty of optimism.
“We’ve got a nice group returning that knows what to expect,” LaChance said. “And I’m hoping the freshmen can add some zip to the team.
“As always, we must stay healthy and improve to make a dent in our tough conference.”
SEPTEMBER: 2—Oconomowoc Invitational, 4:15 p.m. 11—At Big Eight Invitational (Yahara Training Site), 9 a.m. 14—Big Eight Grade Level Challenge, at Verona, 4:30 p.m. 25—Midwest Invitational (Blackhawk), 9 a.m.; 28—Big Eight Five-Team Challenge, at Sun Prairie, 5 p.m.
OCTOBER: 5—At Big Eight Triangular (w/ Janesville Craig and Beloit Memorial), at Leeson Park, Beloit, 4:30 p.m. 16—Big Eight meet, Warner Park, Madison,, 8 a.m.