This year the Broncs cross-country teams return to 3A after two years in 4A, and the girls and boys have runners at the top of the roster capable of competing for state titles.
Broncs senior Andie Cornish, who placed sixth in 4A as a junior, will take the lead for the girls. The team won’t know its new competition as well as its 4A counterparts from the last two years, but Broncs assistant coach Matt Chorney said Cornish absolutely is a contender for an individual trophy.
“She’s always got a shot,” Chorney said. “She’s as fired up as anyone else. It’s a long way till October, but she’s coming into the season in awesome shape.”
The boys team is expected to be led by seniors Mac Staryk and Wyatt Sullivan, both of whom finished in the top 13 at last year’s 4A state meet. The duo had even better track seasons, and Chorney said they’ve carried the momentum into the summer.
“Those two guys just continue to develop,” he said. “They had awesome springs, and both set huge PRs in the mile and 2-mile. They’re two guys who put in really solid miles over the summer and are coming into the season in good shape.”
Staryk and Sullivan will be challenged by sophomore teammate Ben Williams who also flashed major potential during the spring track season. Williams earned a spot at freshman nationals in the 2-mile, and Chorney expects the success to carry over to the 5-K.
“Ben Williams really got faster and faster in the spring,” he said. “I would expect him to be right up there with Mac and Sully. He should mix in well with pretty much anyone in the state.”
The boys team has a variety of runners who are expected to compete for the four and five spots throughout the season. Meanwhile the Lady Broncs field a much deeper roster as the team returns each of the seven runners who competed in the 4A state meet last fall.
Cornish is expected to lead the team but Sienna Taylor, Parker Smith and Rosalie Daval are all expected to be contributors in 2018.
Each of the three finished well under 21 minutes at the 4A meet. They will have stiff competition from teammates Lily Brazil, Millie Peck and Natasha Muromcew as well.
The girls are expected to compete with Cody and two-time defending champion Star Valley for the 3A title. The Broncs boys will be underdogs when it comes to winning their first state title since 2011. Star Valley has won every 3A title since Jackson last took the state championship seven years ago.
The season begins Aug. 24 in Blackfoot, Idaho, at the Bronco Classic.