Any cross country coach would be happy about the situation Chambersburg’s Chris Monheim finds himself in this fall.
Of the Trojans’ top seven runners from a 4-2 season season last fall, all seven return. And that’s not all.
All seven, according to Monheim, have gotten better thanks to some intense work during the offseason. The reason for that extra work, possibly, could be because of a group of freshmen, including highly-touted Camryn Kiser, that will challenge for their spots.
Add the return of Camaryn Ellis, a top-seven runner two years ago who missed last season because of injury, and you can see that Monheim is facing a nice problem — too many good runners and not enough spots to use them all.
“I think we have five kids who are running as good as our No. 1 was last year,” Monheim said. “Right now, I’d say the top five looks as strong as we’ve had in a few years; I just don’t know who’s going to be No. 1 or No. 5.”
Those top five will include senior Anna DeGrange, juniors Keira Whitehead and Maddie Kinton, sophomore Olivia Rieck and Kiser.
Last year, when the team finished 10th in the District 3 meet, Whitehead placed 42nd, DeGrange 57th and Kinton 58th.
Monheim said, “We missed qualifying for states last year for the first time in eight years, and the girls want to get back to the state meet.”
The top five runners are being pushed by a healthy-size contingent right behind them, a group that includes junior Sarah Hunt, who ran as a freshman but not last year, sophomores Allison List, Amelya Mauriello and Emilea Alleman — all of whom saw varsity action last year — and freshmen Emma Armstrong, Abby Bricker and Jocelyn Shields.
Monheim said, “The key for us is our early-season health. We start with five meets in the first 14 days, so we’ll have to be smart about how we run the girls during that time.”
NOTES: The Trojans host their annual Enos Yeager Invitational this Friday at Falling Spring Elementary School at 5:15 p.m. … The first dual meet is Sept. 3 at home vs. CD East … Monheim said State College may be the team to beat in the Mid Penn Commonwealth Division … Dallastown and Wilson will be strong teams in District 3 — both were top 10 in the state last year and return most of their runners.