Rolling Valley XC preview
By BRANDON HURLEY
While the Paton-Churdan boys will not qualify for team competitions due to a lack of runners, the Rockets will face some tough individual runners in the Rolling Valley Conference this fall.
The Rockets will field just three runners this fall. Isaac Ireland returns as Paton-Churdan’s top runner and finished ninth at the conference meet as a sophomore (19:29.54). Jack Bryson finished 29th.
All but one of the conference’s top 10 runners return, including Exira-EHK’s Evan Wilson, who cruised to the top spot in the RVC and sixth place at state in 1A a year ago as only a sophomore. He secured the conference title by nearly 16 seconds with a time of 17:31.36 and earned first team all-state recognition.
Boyer Valley returns their entire top six from a year ago as they look to defend their Rolling Valley Conference crown, which they won with relative ease by 17 points and almost a full four seconds.
Seniors Connor Garrett and Zach Ambrose will lead the Bulldogs on the course, as each finished in the top 25 at the 1A state meet in 2015. Garrett finished 22nd (17:27.4) while Ambrose finished just a few steps behind in 23rd with a nearly identical time of (17:27.6)
The Adair-Casey/CAM boys finished second and will lean on senior Cole Billheimer, who looks to build off his 32nd place finish at state a season ago. He is one of five returning runners for AC/CAM. Experience will play a big role this season for Adair-Casey/CAM, as a handful of their key producers were freshmen and sophomores a year ago. A full offseason should only enhance the talent of the AC/CAM squad.
The Rockets travel to Southeast Valley Thursday, Aug. 25 for their first meet of the season.
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