Despite numbers being down the forecast is encouraging for the Wabasso boys and girls cross country teams.

“Our numbers are down a little, but the effort has been phenomenal in the early going,” Coach Joel Dudgeon said. “We need to stay healthy and ease into getting into shape to prevent injuries.”

Freshman Vander Mathiowetz will lead the boys into action after earning honorable mention All-Conference honors in 2018.

Seniors Ti Trost and Jon Donner, juniors Nicholas Irlbeck and Alex Schmiesing, sophomore Jacob Doyle and eighth-grader Aidan Kampsen are all returning letter winners who should make up the bulk of the starting line-up.

On the girls side, the team will be led by the senior duo of Chloe Haven and Haley Albu. Haven is a three-time All-Conference honoree and set the school record for a 5K race. She also holds the school record in the 3,200 meter run.

“Chloe has had a great summer of training and is in position for a big senior season,” Dudgeon said.

Albu, meanwhile, is also a past All-Conference winner and should help anchor the top of the line-up. Fellow senior Genna Rothmeier may miss the season due to injury but will be a vocal support for the team.

Juniors Madeline Hanna, Lonnah Maasch and Aubrey Mathiowetz are all back as multiple letter winners and will help provide depth and experience for the Rabbits. Sophomores Kirsten Kramer and Allison Parker and newcomer Hailey Jensen should all contribute along with freshman Jocelyn Jenniges.

The Rabbits will take part in the Lakeview invitational Aug. 27 and will compete at LQPV Aug. 29.