Southmoreland cross country teams both will compete in Class AA
Although the rosters are small, there are some talented athletes competing for the Southmoreland boys and girls cross country teams. Coach Don Gilpin has some strong runners back on both teams.
On the boys side, senior Robert Smith likely will be the top runner.
"He has the ability to run long distances, and if I had him the whole year he could be outstanding," Gilpin said. "But he also plays soccer."
Smith is just one of several runners that compete for more than one team in the fall for Southmoreland.
Smith will be joined on the boys team by returning runner Rory Keefer, a junior, as well as sophomores Josh Dei and Ryan Allem. Junior Bradley Whoric and freshmen Mike Garlowich and Phil Weinman will also compete for the Scotties.
The Southmoreland boys team will face new competition; it drops from Class AAA to Class AA.
Gilpin noted that the change is positive because it may give more athletes a chance to advance to the state level. The athlete with the best opportunity to make states could be Smith.
"He didn't make it last year, but if we were in Class AA last year he would have been fourth or fifth overall," Gilpin said.
While the Southmoreland boys team is moving to Class AA, the Lady Scotties have always competed at that level.
The girls team features four returning starters, including senior Karlee Booker, junior Breanne Bosich and sophomores Rikki Brown and Maria Garlowich. Brown will likely produce the top times for the Lady Scotties.
In addition to the returning members, juniors Lindsey Conti and Taylor Grimm, sophomore Jessica Suhan and freshman Cindy Severi will round out the roster.
Both Southmoreland teams will compete in Section 4-AA with Ford City, Freeport, Greensburg Central Catholic, Elderton, Kittanning, Riverview, Shady Side Academy, Steel Valley and West Shamokin.
"I'm keeping my fingers crossed that we have a good season," Gilpin said.