The girls’ cross country team has a lot of competition within.
It’s quality over quantity for sixth-year head coach Steve George and his Whitman-Hanson Regional High girls’ cross country team.
The Panthers enter a new year with a competitive heap of runners as they look to rebound from a 3-5 campaign last fall.
“I’ve made efforts to increase the number of participants in the hope that more kids might translate into improved team results,” George explained. “We saw an increase early on, but have remained steady, with about 25 girls over the past three years. And actually, I’m happy with that. The quality of our top group has improved dramatically. This year, for example, we have 10 girls realistically vying for those important top-seven positions. And I would not be surprised at all if others joined them in the next few weeks.”
Senior Tori Boss was the Panthers’ top runner last season and she returns, looking to improve on an average time of 21:26.
“Tori Boss has tremendous ability and is one of our leaders and a captain this year,” George said. “She will be getting a push from two newcomers.”
Those newcomers are sophomore Myah Kamperides and junior Bryn Miller, both of whom come over from the soccer pitch. Myah Kamperides was a standout in the 2-mile during outdoor track.
Senior Niki Kamperides was the Panthers’ No. 3 runner and she’s also back, trying to lower her 21:44 average time.
“Niki Kamperides sat out track last year and is building back up at this point, but she has an incredible work ethic and desire to improve,” George said. “She will be a top-five runner early on.”
Senior captain Tori Carleton, sophomores Anna Flynn, Sarah Boulger and junior Allie Solari will likely round out the top seven early on.
“Many of the kids have improved, which is not necessarily surprising,” George said. “I’m excited about seeing where the girls end up after a couple of months of training and competition.”
Freshman Ella Bailey, sophomore Katelyn Sweeney and juniors Hailey Minicucci and Alaina Mustascio should also contribute significantly.
The Panthers open their schedule at home on Wednesday, Sept. 11 at 4 p.m. against Patriot League foe Plymouth South.
“A successful season would be to have more wins than losses,” said the coach. “Our competitions with highly ranked teams from Hingham and Duxbury will be especially difficult. Silver Lake has added a couple of tremendous runners and will also be a tough team to beat. The truth is the Patriot League is very competitive from year to year and to be above .500 is not an easy task.”