Trojans have high expectations for 2012

By: Matt Long Telegraph Sports Editor
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Oak Ridge High’s varsity boys’ cross country team won its first Sac-Joaquin Section title a year ago and hope to make a run at a second this year. With the graduation of only one runner from last year’s team, Sean McHone, the Trojans return a strong, motivated group including five seniors: Dusty Armstrong, Evan Baxter, Marcos Conde, Jake Zeltner and Zach Thornton. Juniors Ryan Prestegard, Colin Pilcher and JT Janecek also return, as does sophomore Jordan Hordesky. Baxter is currently dealing with some tendonitis in his knee and is unable to run, but otherwise this group is healthy and raring to go. “The boys are a really tight group and have great camaraderie,” Oak Ridge coach Rob Fairley said. “The top-five are really close in times too. I would say Dustin is the top guy and key leader, but Marcos had a great summer and is motivated. This group features a lot of seniors and they’re looking to repeat as section champs. It’s going to be a challenge, because when you’re the champion you’ve got a target on your back and everybody wants to beat you. There are a lot of other strong teams out there, but these guys have the confidence and the desire.” The girls’ team lost two key veteran runners to graduation in Holli Arrieta and Maxine Goyette, but return key runners in junior Rachel Peterson and sophomore Ellie Velez. Juniors Mindy Ong, Sami Kilcollins and Alison Bamford and sophomores Maddie DeZordo, Marina Titova and Sabrina Andrus also return with freshman newcomer Briana Dulgar looking very good early in the season. The girls placed second in the section to St. Francis last year and hope to return to the podium and qualify for the state meet again this season. “The girls could have a very good season too,” Fairley said. “They don’t have the experience that the boys have and teams without that can be vulnerable to the training. Ellie and Rachel are strong runners who are healthy and anxious to improve on their performances last year. Maddie and Mindy have a couple years of solid training and the others show promise. Briana is a gifted runner who has challenged herself and is currently running in our top-three.” Andrus is battling injury at the moment, but hopes to be able to contribute to the team later in the season. Other than that, the girls are ready to go. “I’m very optimistic for the girls,” Fairley said. “They’re going for a top-three finish in the section and a trip to the state meet. We’ve sent both teams to the state meet the last two years and we’re hoping to do it again this year. The girls have their work cut out for themselves, but they’re focused.”