Eight returning lettermen, including an All-State qualifier, bodes well for the boys and girls Monett Cubs cross country teams as they prepare for the first meet of the season on Sept. 5. It will be the Southwest Missouri Cross Country Coach's Association meet at East Newton.
"I think we stack well in the conference, and if we do what I think we are capable of we'll be near the top," said Coach Andy Lemons.
"We have strong front runners in Chris Renteria and Micah Miller," Lemons said. "Our three, four and five runners need to close the gap to our front guys."
Lemons said East Newton is the team to beat in the conference.
"They always have a good team," Lemons stated. "Carl Junction should also be good."
Hannah Martin heads the girls team. The junior has earned All-Conference and All-District honors and is an All-State qualifier.
Other girls on the roster are freshman Brittany Schuthy, sophomores Chelsey Jones and Skyler Ginther and junior Lauren Sebastian. Ginther and Jones are lettermen.
Returning lettermen for the boys are senior Garrett Dutton and sophomores Connor Kimzey, Isaac Weber, Ryan Saunders and Daniel Bryan.
Other boys on the team include freshmen Caleb Blue, Luke Verhoff and Michael Morley, sophomores Chris Renteria and Gunnar Pryor, junior Bill Townsend and senior Micha Miller.
Monett's remaining schedule is as follows: Sept. 10, Carthage Invitational; Sept. 15, Monett Invitational; Sept. 29, Lamar Invitational; Oct. 3, East Newton Invitational; Oct. 6, Springfield Catholic Invitational; and Oct. 12, Cassville Invitational.