Aug. 15—There is quite a bit of experience returning for the boys and girls cross country teams at South Laurel for the 2022 season.
On the girls side, while they lost two state qualifiers in Lindsey Cox and Autumn Bales, they will return two from last year in Hannah Tapscott and Rose Stanko. Tapscott will be a sophomore this season, while Stanko will just be an eighth-grader.
Coach Brittanie Smith, who took over for long time coach Carrie Kirby this year, said the experience the Lady Cardinals have coming back will help her program continue the standard at which they have always competed and performed.
"We lost two state qualifiers from last year and we have two state qualifiers returning," said Smith. "We're really looking to continue to improve as well as build our team and build on the tradition that Coach Kirby has set forth and the precedent that she set over her career."
To help lead that cause will be senior Tiffany Greer, who returned to the team this year after taking a break from cross country. According to Smith, Greer has set the tone for the team with the leadership and attitude she brings every day.
"Tiffany Greer has been the only senior to come out for us so far. She ran track last spring and she has been a great addition to our team," said Smith. "Her commitment and dedication has been great. She is out here for the right reasons. She has a great attitude and is a solid senior leader for us."
On the boys side of things, South Laurel will return a great core of runners who qualified for state one year ago. Seniors Jacob Tapscott and Will Stanko, along with sophomore Riley Lewis, will give the Cardinals an experienced and accomplished trio of runners in 2022.
South Laurel will also have a slew of younger runners that will help make up a roster of experience and youthful talent.
Coach Shelly Scheithauer said that developing and continuing to grow the underclassmen on the team will be a focus of the season.
"We have several returning underclassmen we are looking to develop into varsity runners," said Scheithauer. "Overall, our team is young and we look forward to seeing what they can do and what the season will bring."