The potential of the Holy Trinity boys cross-country team has been talked about for the past few seasons.
Is this the year the Tigers break through?
“I hope so,” sophomore Skyler Jensen said. “That’s the goal. It’s sort of a building year, but we’re also right there. So, hopefully, top at state 10 this year. Next year, we should be top three.
“We don’t have any seniors in our top seven this year, so we’re bringing everyone back. This year, we should be right up there.
“We’re not treating this as a building year. We’re treating it like, ‘Win now,’ this year and then next year … all out.”
The Tigers, who finished 17th in the state last season, have certainly been having a solid season. They were third among 14 Class 1A teams at the Spanish River Classic last month and also third in 1A at the Katie Caples Invitational in Jacksonville on Sept. 24.
Jensen, who is one of six sophomores among the Tigers’ top seven, was the top finisher for Holy Trinity in that one. He was followed by junior Augustine Stehley and sophomores Sawyer Jacobs, Donovan Boesch and Aiden Silika. Freshman Gavin Hibner was next along with senior Cass Werder; sophomore Zack Gunderson; eighth-grader Kaden Nazareno and sophomore Trip McHenry. Sophomore Finn Werder did not race in that one.
“I feel like the top five on the boys team are doing really well and the people at six and seven are doing really good times compared to last season,” Jacobs said.
“… I think (we can) definitely (finish) higher up at states and obviously, well at districts and regions.”
With so much youth on the roster, the Tigers know time is still on their side when it comes to becoming among the state’s best. But at the same time, they appear to have the right attitude to make them a fun team to watch this season.
“I think we have a ton of potential,” Jensen said. “It’s all about training. You’ve got to work hard every day, even on easy runs. You’ve got to finish strong. That’s what our coach (Marc Bailey) says. You’ve got to sprint the last 200 meters, just like in a race.”