In a season like no other, Jackson College's men's and women's cross-country teams are enjoying the opportunity to continue to train and prepare for their upcoming competitions!
"Practices have been going great. The runners are super excited for the season and can't wait for the first meet on Sept. 4th," said head coach Serafin Llerena. He and assistant coach Andrea Ortell are in their third year coaching cross country for the Jets. "Both of this year's teams are going to be heavy contenders and have the high potential of placing first in the conference," Llerena said.
The Jets women are coming off a strong year that saw them compete as a team at Nationals. The women finished third in the conference, while the men took fifth in the conference and had two individual runners compete at Nationals. The women lost three runners, including 2019's MCCAA Freshman of the Year Renee Osborne, but have four returning -- Madeline Humphreys, Harmony Harpster, Lydia Anuszkiewicz and Alaysia Gutierrez. They will add their experience alongside newcomers Olivia Hubbard (Parma Western H.S.), Krissy Johnson (Hanover-Horton H.S.) and sophomore Haley Presley (Mason H.S.), who also plays softball for the Jets.
Several of the men's team moved on after last season, with only Jesse Heistan and Logan Connolly returning. They will be joined by newcomers Tony Duby (Clio H.S.), Andrew Swihart (Hanover-Horton H.S,), Tyler Landis (Homer H.S.), Richard Haislip (Hanover-Horton H.S.), Austin Hertzfeld (East Jackson H.S.), Andrew Frohm (Vandercook Lake H.S.) and Talin Khanna (Ann Arbor-Pioneer H.S.).
"Practice is going very well. The runners have adjusted nicely to the guidelines that have been set before them," Ortell said. "This is probably one of the best teams we have had as far as how well they get along and work together. I would say, all in all, the morale of both teams is very high. We're looking forward to a great season!"