Despite temperatures hovering in the 90s, Shawn Anderson is thinking about the fall cross country season and the Huntington High School coach likes where his team stands at this point in time.
“Our No. 1 returner is national champ Shane McGuire,” Anderson said. “While he specializes in the 400 and 800, he is training hard over the summer to bring that 5k [time] down.”
McGuire ran on Huntington’s indoor and outdoor national champion 4x400m relay teams and the incoming senior continues to improve.
“Heading into my senior year I’m not going to be nervous anymore about big races because I have the experience now, but I’m looking to just show everyone that I’m a double threat where I’m not just good at track, but also in cross country,” McGuire said. “I hope to guide the younger kids this year as a captain and motivate them to want to get better and succeed.”
Anderson will also be counting on Ryan Smith, Nicolas Sanin, Cornelius O’Rourke and Danny Collins, who have all been among the team’s top seven runners at one time or another in the past. “They should all contribute to the team this year,” the coach said.
Three strong runners from Finley are also ready to join the varsity program as freshmen. Brendan Roller, John Segreti and Jason Verville will each be looking to make an immediate impact for the Blue Devils. Roller is seen as an exceptionally promising distance runner.
“In the pre-season rankings were middle of the pack, ranked fourth among six teams,” Anderson said. “Our goal is to get an over .500 record and if possible finish better than our ranking. Our competition will be tough, but we have a new format where we will be competing in double and triple duals, so it should be interesting to see how that new schedule plays out.”
The fall season kicks-off with practice on August 22. “All in, all if the team puts in the work we should do well, with a solid mixture of underclassmen and seasoned veterans,” Anderson said.