Purple Pack off and running

Elder's Cross country team has high hopes for 2016.

The Elder cross country team knows its potential coming into this year.  After falling short of qualifying for the state runs since 2010, the purple pack has its sights set on nothing short of a bid to the state final.

The team started off strong finishing fourth out of sixteen teams in its first race at Wilmington college, a decent start to the season for the Panthers.

The pack was able to increase its momentum toward the state race with a first place finish at the Miamisburg invitational.

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Senior Joe Reiter (photo taken from staff page)
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Senior captain Ryan Schenkel running in the annual alumni race this summer (photo courtesy of EHSports)

Sidelined Senior runner Joe Reiter witnessed the finish, “We may not have had the first guy finish
, but once our first guys, which were Nick Merk and Ryan Schenkel, finished, everyone else was so close.”

The Panthers were able to win first place even without a vital member of the pack: Joe Reiter.  When asked if frustrated, Reiter’s answer was yes.  The panthers plan to get Reiter back some time within six to eight weeks.

Senior leadership has been no problem for the panthers.  The three captains for the purple pack are Andrew Schenkel, Ryan Schenkel, and Adam Noeth.  Fellow senior Joe Reiter states, “You can definitely tell this team is lead by the upperclassmen.”

Another senior, also captain, Andrew Schenkel, has the troops rallied under his command.  By stressing on the importance of the state race, alongside GCL, he has been able to increase the morale around the squad.

He says, “It’s different than other years, yeah, state has been my goal since freshman year.  But this year, the team and I actually believe we will make it to state.”

The difference this year for the cross country team seems to be mindset.  The belief in each other alongside the incredibly obvious team chemistry combine to form a team with a shot at leaving a legacy for years to come.

Some spotlighted races this year for the cross country squad include the St. Xavier invitational, but the main focus of the seniors is the GCL race.  Having not surpassed a third place finish since 2014, Elder’s seniors plan to leave a special type of legacy as runners, which includes winning the GCL race.

As the Panthers advanced to yet another weekend of competition, they continue their winning ways and take first place at the Troy invitational.  As the season progresses, the Panthers’ goal of qualifying for the state race seems all too possible for the pack.

Focus proves to be no problem for the purple pack, even in the intense heat, Senior Andrew Schenkel said he always has state in the back of his mind.  The awareness and focus on the common goals of winning GCL and qualifying for the state race.

The Panthers will look to continue their winning ways this Saturday, September 17th, at the Cedarville invitational behind strong senior leadership.