Last year marked one of the best cross country seasons for Renton schools; this year the focus will be on rebuilding a strong team base as the Seamount League Class Meet begins Wednesday, September 5 at Evergreen High School at 3:30 p.m.
The last year. Mohamud Abdilooks to lead the boys after his 54th place finish at state.
"Mohamud is running great and is certainly a top 10 guy," says head coach Jef Rettmann. "It is definitely a rebuilding year, with four of our top boys and girls graduating. We also have a couple kids who were important returners move out of district or decide not to run so that they could get a job. Consequently, we have a smaller team with less depth. It will be a process."
Other Lindbergh runners include Omelyan Strembitskyy (100th at state), Mitchell Hughey, Colton Maddy and Ishmael Purganan.
"My goal is to have five guys under 17:00, which will still make us pretty competitive. We just don't have much margin of error since we don't have the depth we are used to. We should be league champs again, maybe district champs, and top 6 at state," said Rettman.
Renton boys had its top six runners all graduate, only Brian Reilly who placed 73rd overall at state returns this season.
Hazen has four state returners, Daniel Karpman (40th 16:20), Chase Onstot (119th 17:31), Angrad Singh (126th 17:40) and Luis Puga (136th 18:14).
Lindbergh girls lost its top four girls to graduation; returners include Thuong Nguyen, Ariel Hodges, and Cindy Huynh. Rettman says freshman Christine Villanueva fits right in with the group. A couple of other girls are also looking very strong.
"I think we have a chance to win the league and qualify for the state meet as a team," he said.
Renton junior Joy Barnes, who finished 41st last year at state, looks to improve upon her 19:59 time.
Hazen did not qualify for last year's state races, but has several runners including junior Alisha Piazza, sophomore Kristin Ericksen and senior Ashley Selover who could challenge Lindbergh for the league title.