They return an astonishing 13 letterwinners from last season’s team, six boys and seven girls, which had a strong showing at the Frielands Conference cross country meet. The boys finished fourth at conference while the girls took second.
The Flyers bring back a lot of expectations from the boys’ side. Jared Arnold is a senior this season after finishing third in the FC meet with a 16:44.36 and should be in the running for the top FC runner in 2017.
“Jared was a state qualifier last season and is extremely determined to make it back,” St. Paul coach Tim Fitzgerald said. “He has been leading a team a runners who have worked extremely hard over the summer.”
Joining Arnold is returning lettermen Sam Sigsworth, Noah Avendano, Luke Ceccoli, Owen Duncan and Zack Stine.
“Each of our returners continue to impress in this early season,” Fitzgerald said. “We also have a great group of freshmen coming in with Ryan Gross, Ryan Walker, Justin Hammersmith and Colin McFadden. With those guys competing for the top seven spots, this team could become a top tier team in the Firelands Conference if they contunue to work hard in the season.”
On the ladies’ side, the Flyers bring back a team that took second place at the FC championships last fall. They have seven returning letterwinners in Ally Brown, Megan Bocock, Rachel Beat, Anne Ware, Catherine Massie, Lily Dowdell and Alexandra Abel.
Dowdell was the individual girls’ champion during last season FC meet with a time of 19:38.39. She was the only girl to come in under 20 minutes at the race and she qualified for the state meet as a freshman.
“The girls team will be led by Lily,” Fitzgerald said. “She was a state qualifier as an individual, but she is very focused on taking the entire team into the post season. She has shown that maturity at her young age and really cares about team success. Ally, Rachel, Anne, Catherine and Alexandra will be very strong this year for us. We also have a few freshmen who are eyeing the varsity team. Claire Ceccoli and Kylie McDonnell are hoping to crack that varsity lineup and have the talent to do so.
“The girls want to improve from a second place finish in the conference last year and they are determined to take that top spot. As is the same with the boys’ team, confidence is going to be a huge factor in their success.”
The Flyers kick off the 2017 season with a home meet on August 21 in the North West Ohio Catholic Schools Association Invitational at the Norwalk Reservoir kicking off at 4 p.m.