For a good part of the Weston High girls cross country team the 2012 season will include a period of adjustment.
More than half of the Trojans’ runners are new to the team. How quickly they can get used to the training regimen will play a big part in them getting up to speed.
With 16 girls the Trojans are much bigger in terms of numbers. As far as talent is concerned they may also get lucky.
“It’s the largest turnout in a long time,” said second-year head coach Jim Murray, whose team started practice on Aug. 25. “That’s encouraging.”
However, only six of those 16 runners are returning from last year. The Trojans will have some work to do before they start the season on Tuesday at home.
If Weston’s newcomers are fast and quick learners it should be able to improve upon its performance from last season. The Trojans posted a 4-10 record in the South-West Conference. They went on to place 12th out of 14 teams at the league meet.
At the state Class M race Weston was 17th out of 21 teams.
It did graduate a few runners since last year, notably former captain Rachel Fraade, a regular top five runner for the team. Catherine Kravchenko, Weston’s No. 2 runner in most of the races, has also graduated, as have Nicole DeCanio and Tess Maggio.
Until its new runners can make their mark Weston will rely on its returning ones, including senior captain Augusta Alwang, who was third in the team’s order in the SWC race last season. The only other senior on the team is newcomer Zoe Zegers.
Much of Weston’s runners are juniors, including August Schweitzer. The team’s front-runner from last season, she led the way for the Trojans in both the SWC and Class M meets.
“She did some running over the summer,” said Murray. “She looks much stronger than she did last year.”
Also back are Theresa Armijo and Helena Low, both regular top seven runners in Weston’s order last season. Olivia Hayes and Niaara Parker are also back.
New to the team are juniors Brittany Gilmore and Mia Dimeglio. The former ran on the track team last spring.
“Those two will be very helpful to us,” said Murray.
Also new is sophomore Emma Lillianthal. The Trojans, who had no freshmen last season, now have six. These include Isabel Gautier, Grace Juneau, Miriam Low, Christina Luminoso, Mia Perniece and Olivia Stanley.
This season Weston would not only like to improve its meet record it would also like to improve on an individual level with each runner getting faster. Moving up a few places at the SWC and Class M meets are also on the radar.
“We just want to be in the hunt,” said Murray. “That’s kind of where we are as a program.”