The Waynesville High School Boys and Girls Cross Country teams are ready to run their way into 2017 season with head coach Nicole Jarman leading the pride.

Lady Tigers
Last year the Lady Tigers finished the 2016 season with a strong performance in districts and a seventh place finish in the Ozark Conference Championships Meet.
“The girls had some individual successes and some decent finishes as a team. This year we are really looking to unite the girls side and perform as a solid team. Last year we were kind of strung out all over the course. This year we are hoping to move our top girls even farther up and pack our next five girls in closer behind them. I think some of the younger girls coming up are going to push our returners and it will make us stronger as a team overall. If our girls team puts in the work and does what they are capable of they have the potential to be pretty solid,” Head Coach Nicole Jarman said.
Last season, they placed ninth in the District Championship meet at Nixa.
The Lady Tigers are returning seven girls from last years team.  Along with the returning girls, there are many new runners joining the team.
“Alaixces Bartley, Megan Howard, Brianna Moose, Makayla French, Makkah Mujahid, Bryanna Baze and Madelyn Newsom. We are excited to have Ashtin Kuhn back with us as well, she ran for us two years ago but had to miss last year's cross country season due to injury.” Jarman said, “Kieyera and Jasmine were two of the five athletes we took down to cross country camp to train in the heat and the hills, they impressed me with their mental toughness. The team is pumped to welcome these three freshmen girls to our roster.”
Two key leaders this year are Alaixces Bartley and Madelyn Newsom. Jarman said, “Both girls were consistently our top two girl runners last year. Both of them hope to keep breaking personal records. The girls team will definitely be looking to them to set the bar.”
“For myself I hope to end my season at state and get a sub 20:00 minute time. For our girls team, I hope we place at conference and we all have PR’s all around throughout the season. I also hope the team becomes close and hope the season goes smoothly for it being my last season running.,” Bartley said.
Waynesville will kick off the year off with the John Marshall Cross Country Invite in Jefferson City on August 26th.

Tigers
Last year the Tigers finished their season with a with a ninth place finish in the district meet and brought home eighth place at the Ozark Conference Championship Meet.  
“We did not have a strong showing last year at conference. We are working to move up in the rankings this year,” Jarman said.
The Tigers are returning ten boys from last season.  Along with the returning boys, there are four new freshmen moving up from the middle school level that will fill in key roles. Brandon Murphey, Alec Hornyak, Liam Welch, Luke Morrison, Erik Head, Victor Daos, Evan Nitchman, James Dukas, Keaton Noah, Elan Dreadfulwater, Seth Davis, Caleb Pursley, Ian Zeigler and Bryan O’Barr will fill out the boys roster this year with few others when school starts.
A sectional qualifier, Luke Morrison, will be returning to the Tigers this season. He said, “We lost a lot of our boys from last year but I think we can get our new team in shape in time for districts.”
“Our top boy runners last year were consistently Luke Morrison and Daniel Ray. Unfortunately, Daniel moved away and we graduated some of our other varsity runners. Luke will most likely be setting the bar for the boys again this year. Other runners look for him and gauge where they are in a race. The boys side is going to be heavily relying on Victor Daos, Keaton Noah, Liam Welch and Brandon Murphey to fill into those varsity spots. I don’t know exactly what the order of the boys is going to be when we get towards our bottom varsity runners. It will depend on who steps up and maybe some of our incoming freshmen will surprise us. Two boys who has significantly improved over the past year and who I expect to be team leaders are Victor Daos and James Dukas. They both had a good summer of training, including XC camp and have already brought some ideas up about how to make our team even closer.”Jarman said, “I think the boys have their work cut out for them and know what they know what they need to do. A big key is going to be the team dynamic for the boys, how well they operate together and of course, the work they put in at practice.”
The official cross country season started July 31st and we will be practicing in the mornings trying to beat the heat until school starts. Once school starts they will practice 3:00-5:00 pm.
Jarman said, “For me, watching a cross country meet is a surreal and exciting experience. It is seeing athletes lay it all out on the line in a culmination of what they have been training so hard for. I know athletes will look back on this time with their team not only as fond memories with friends but also as defining moments in their character development. When you run cross country you really start to discover what you are made of and how much you can handle. It is so fun watching the runners start to discover these things about themselves. At times it can be frustrating when you know an athlete is capable of more than they think they are because once they are out on the course it is up to them to pull that out of themselves. There are no short cuts or time outs in cross country, it is by no means easy but these are the same things that make cross country great!.”