The Newton High School cross country teams will look to four returning state qualifiers for the boys and two for the girls to lead for this season.
Richard Mick returns for his 22nd season as the Railer head coach. He is assisted by Michelle Bergquist.
The Newton girls placed second in the Ark Valley-Chisholm Trail League Division I meet, second at the regional meet and eighth at the Class 5A state meet.
The Newton boys were third at league, third at regionals and 11th at state.
“(The) boys should be competitive,” Mick said. “Good numbers and a pretty solid group of returners with experience at the varsity level. Girls can be competitive but we are super thin in terms of depth. We will have to stay healthy to be able to score as a varsity team. Summer and early season training has gone well for the most part and we are anxious to run some races.”
Returning letterwinners for the boys are seniors Eli Blaufuss, Erik Jantz; juniors Elijah Edwards, Ben Gering, Luke Schmidt; and sophomore Caleb Koontz.
Jantz was a first-team All-AV-CTL I selection and medaled at the Rim Rock Classic.
Jantz was 38th at state. Blaufuss was 76th. Gering was 96th. Koontz was 102nd.
Returning medalists for the girls are senior Ashley Salgado and sophomore Gabriella Mayes.
Mayes was 46th at state. Salgado was 50th.
Other returning runners include Grant Treaster (sr.), John Koontz (jr.), Jakob Senn, Kaden Anderson (so.), Alexander Barnett (so.) and Simon Hodge (so.).
Newcomers include Jason Catache (jr.), Ben Crawford (fr.), Wyatt Crist (fr.), Drew Dillon (fr.), Justin Franz (fr.), Gabriel Gaeddert (jr.), Clayton Kauffman (so.), Hannes Maeneke (sr.), Max Musser (jr.), Widly Nocenti (sr.), Spencer Steinmetz (so.), Luke Stenzel (fr.), Nicholas Treaster (fr.), Elia Bergquist (fr.), Sarah Georgiou (so.), Laura Nervi (12), Aspen Schmidt (fr.), Annika Senn (12), Emily Torres (fr.) and Saila Haikonen (sr.).