December 19, 2014

PInny XC a mixed bag of experience, youth

By Jerry Kent|Sports Editor
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PINCONNING – One team has some experience, the other: little.

That’s what Pinconning High School cross-country coach Christy Morand faces heading into the new campaign as she welcomes back four seniors, including a pair of all-Northeast Michigan Conference performers, to her girls’ team, but only a couple returning juniors to the boys’ team.

“I’m looking at my girls’ team doing well,” Morand said. “I have four seniors and other girls that are doing well. The boys team is young and I don’t have any seniors.”

Topping the list of returning girls is senior Emily Podgorniak, who qualified for the state meet last season as a junior. She also made the all-conference and all-county teams a year ago, as did senior returnee Shannon McDougal.

Morand said she would rely on both girls to carry the scoring load, with help from senior newcomer Jessica Vidalez, Pinconning’s 2-mile record holder in track and field who, until this season, has never competed in cross-country before.

On the boy’s side of the ledger, Morand will miss the services of Derrek Lucynski, a four-year letter winner who made all-conference and all-county a year ago in his senior season.

A pair of juniors – Drew Hoder and Trevor McAlpine – ran for the Spartans last season and Morand said she would look to them to provide leadership for the other underclassmen on the team.

Both Spartan teams opened their season by hosting an invitational Aug. 25. Results of the meet were not available before deadline.

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