Cross Country Preview
Newnan lineups looking for strong finish
by Doug Gorman
Newnan cross country teams bring back plenty of experience moving into this fall.
'We have been working very hard this summer,' said Newnan head coach Kris Mossburg. 'They have been really selfmotivated, and are setting goals to get better. Our goal is to improve each meet.'
Both teams opened the season at last weekend's Kosh Classic held at The Westminster School in Atlanta. The Lady Cougars placed third among seven teams while Newnan's boys placed fifth out of nine schools.
Efforts were led by defending Region 3-AAAAAA girls champ Lizzy Westerfield, who finished 10th in 23:09.
Newnan next heads to Saturday's Bob Blastow Classic in Douglas County, which will be held on a new course at Foxhall Resort and Sporting Club.
'I don't know a whole lot about the new course,' Mossburg said. 'I have been told it is a fast course. I think our kids are really looking forward to it.' The Lady Cougars bring back several runners who turned in high finishes at last year's Region 3-AAAAAA meet. They include senior Hannah Hudson and junior Anna Haydon, both of whom placed among the top eight finishers at region. Haydon and Hudson finished 15th and 16th respectively in the 2013 season opener with initial times of 23:35 and 23:56.
Mossburg will also be counting on Maya Sherman and Mary Douglass Hallman among the team's top five scorers. Sherman was 22nd among 59 runners last Saturday while finishing in 24:19. Hallman placed 30th in 24:54.
Caroline Thomas, Megan Diebbold, Lindley Hudson, Gabby Freeman and Ally Thomas also competed in the opening meet.
Returning to lead the way for the Cougars is junior Matthew Miller after winning individual titles in the Coweta Cup and Region 3-AAAAAA meets. He opened the year by placing 19th at the Kosh Klassic in 19:48 as Newnan's top finisher.
Another junior, Tyler Vermilya, also brings experience to the program and already improved last year's time at the region meet in Saturday's opener, placing 20th behind Miller in 19:50, seven seconds ahead of the region pace.
The lineup also includes three returning seniors including Ben Ketelsen, who placed 34th last Saturday in 20:28.
Nick Dudek wasn't far behind in 38th (20:40) while Ty Mossburg opened the year with a time of 20:50 to close out the Cougars' scoring.
Eli Moore, Jack Hrinko, Tavaris Johnson, Jonathan Martin and Steven Rayburn also competed for Newnan's boys, who will run in three meets next month including Northgate's annual Coach Dailey Invitational on Sept. 21.
Newnan will host this year's Coweta Cup on Oct. 19 at Newnan Utilities Park.