FALL PREVIEW: Experience a key factor for Tigers
MARSHALL — The Marshall boys and girls cross country teams posted another strong season last year, with the girls team reaching a school-record seventh straight trip to state as a group and placing 10th while Zach Matzner was the lone individual qualifying for state on the boys side.
The Tigers return several key runners from a season ago, including Landon Wherry, Ashton Schnaser, Brett Regnier, Zach and Josh Leibfried and Daniel Olin.
So far this season, Marshall has been able to earn two first-place finishes at its meets. Coach Brian Leibfried said their bond as a group will be one of their best strengths as a team this year.
“I’d say our camaraderie, we’ve got a really good group of kids that get along well,” coach Leibfried said. “That helps with the training aspect, they can hold each other accountable and maintain a good atmosphere and you need that in a sport like cross country.”
On the girls side, Marshall returns multiple runners from a season ago, led by Bellamy Sukalski, Jersey Leysen, Miracle Tucker, Allyson Sample, Gracelyn Foster, Beret Pederson and Cameen McFarquhar. Taleigha Bigler and Anna Degroot will also look to make an impact in their first seasons at the varsity level.
Marshall girls coach Marie Sample said although they don’t have any seniors on this year’s team, they have plenty of experience with their young group.
“We have a lot of experience. Even though we don’t have any seniors, we have kids who have been on the section and state teams for a lot of years,” coach Sample said. “They’ve been through a lot of things together and they’ve been with kids who have now graduated and now they have to step up and fill those roles at a young age and they’ve done a great job.”
Marshall earned a pair of first-place finishes to start the season at its home invite and the Luverne invite.