The 2020 version of the Wabasso Rabbit cross country team began workouts on Aug. 17 in preparation for its season opener at Minnesota Valley Lutheran Sept. 3.
To date, 29 athletes have turned out for practices with eight seniors dotting the roster.
The roster is bolstered by several harriers joining the sport with the moving of volleyball and football to later in the school year.
Sarah Franta, Madeline Hanna, Halle Huhnerkoch, Lonnah Maasch and Mataya Nelson make up the girls’ senior class.
Hanna and Maasch are multi-year letter winners and will provide leadership in their captain roles. Franta was a letter winner two seasons ago and is lacing up the shoes again this season.
Nelson was a member of the Rabbit 4 x 800 relay teams that placed in the Section track and field meet in 2017 and 2018.
Huhnerkoch has wasted little time in establishing herself.
Tyler Bliss is a cross over from the football team, and his versatility in track and field should prove to be an asset. Nicholas Irlbeck and Alex Schmeising will be captains in their final season as long-time letter winners and competitors.
Irlbeck will make history in completing his first race in 2020 when he’ll become the first Rabbit to run a cross country race in six seasons.
Hailey Jenson and Allison Parker return as juniors on the team. Jenson was a rookie last year, and Parker has been a major contributor the past three seasons. Both will add depth to the squad this year.
As of now, the junior class is a one man show in the form of many-time letter winner Jacob Doyle.
The 10th graders will have five athletes with three girls, Mikayla Bliss, Jocelyn Jenniges and Jasmine Kuehn and two boys. Jenniges is a letter winner. Aidan Kampsen, a letter winner, along with Adryen Tietz, who was the first finisher in a team time trial over a mile in distance.
Natasha Doubler, Addison Jenson and Annabelle Struntz represent the freshman class.
Noah Anderson and Joe Liebl are out for the sport for the first time as the duo make current spots as freshman.
Katherine Erickson, Kallie Fischer, Kylee Jenniges, Meredith Haven and Amelia Plaetz are eighth-grade girls on the team. Kaysen Harms and Noah Pope are also “eights” on the team, with Andrew Morin the lone seventh grader.