A strong senior class will lead the Oak Harbor High School boys cross country team, while underclass will rule the course for the Wildcat girls.
All of the returning lettermen for the Oak Harbor boys are seniors: Chris Brooks, Ben Gasper, Tyler Grehan, Jake Hucko and Michael Lym.
Grehan finished 109th and Lym 115th in the 3A state meet last fall.
Key newcomers are Cole Fishburn and Dallas Riddle-Stevens, according to coach Eric Peterson.
The senior class is the team’s strength, Peterson said.
“They are experienced runners that can really help the new athletes,” he added.
Returning letter winners for the girls are seniors Alora Caillier, Riley Borden and Megan Keating; juniors Alex Smith and Brenna Rothman; and sophomore Megan Smith.
Alex Smith is a two-time, all-Wesco selection and qualified for the state meet last year, placing 50th. Her sister Megan also went to state, taking 80th.
A key newcomer is Madison Korneli.
“With Riley, Megan, and Alex showing great improvement during the off season, they should be ready for a good season,” Peterson said.
Peterson said if the boys are willing to put in the work, they could finish in the upper half at district.
The girls, he added, need to find some depth to complement the upper-end talent.
The Wildcats start the season at the Sehome Invitational at 10 a.m. Saturday, Sept. 9, at Bellingham’s Civic Stadium. Oak Harbor’s lone home meet is Thursday, Sept. 21, with Stanwood, Mountlake Terrace and Marysville Getchell.