With strong numbers, 14 boys and 11 girls, the Waterloo High School boys and girls cross country teams look to have a strong 2019 campaign.
“Numbers are very good this year for both out women’s and men’s teams,” said Gabe Haberkorn, entering his second season as head coach of his alma mater.
The girls team features 11 runners, led by seniors Christi Forman and Lily Stonestreet.
Forman, a three-time WIAA state qualifier, was the Capitol Conference runner-up behind Marshall’s Claire Huggett.
“Forman is an absolute beast and deserves it,” said Haberkorn. “She surprises me each day out with her talent and hard work.
Behind Forman are Lily Stonestreet and juniors Jenna Smith and Ariana Luther.
First-year sophomore runner Abby Quamme and a very talented freshman squad that includes Julia Asik, Maddie Webster, Yareli Perez, Cassandra Valle, Taylor Noel and Jenna Christensen will be battling for varsity slots all year long.
“We had a talented group graduate and believe this group of young runners can improve on what they have started,” Haberkorn said. “The women’s team looks to build off of Forman and with a talented core we can set goals of being middle of the pack for conference.”
As mentioned, the boys team stands at 14 members, and for the first time in a long time will have a full junior varsity squad participating.
The Pirate boys will be led by a talented group of juniors and at the top is Brenen Skalitzky. As a sophomore, Skalitzky just missed being all-conference last year and is looking to build on his 2018 track season as he qualified for the WIAA State Meet in the 800 meters.
Following by Skalitzky is a talented group with first-time runner Jonathon Aguero, Brody Tschanz, Andrew Battenberg, Andrew Leckel and Maxwell Schneider. Aguero, who injured his knee in football last year, has come out for cross country and has been a big surprise running right with the top runners, according to Haberkorn.
“Both Tschanz and Battenberg will be third-year varsity runners and continue to make strides with the top group,” Haberkorn said.
Battling for the varsity final spots are sophomores Gustavo Tamayo, Brice Melchior, Justin Sampo, Carlos Simarron, Addison Hensler and Kyle Fugate. Freshman Sam Billingsley is the newest member of the boys team.
Returning to cross country after playing football last year is Jakob Garza, while Lerious Wilson is a foreign exchange student from Liberia.
The boys team looks to build on the strong start from last year. Winning two meets and having two runner-up performances, all while fighting the injury bug at the end in 2018.
“This year’s talented team looks to build on that and to finish strong in 2019, competing for a Top 3 spot in conference,” added Haberkorn.