“We have high hopes for him,” Caston coach Mark Smith said. “We’d like to see him get to the semistate this year. His times have been fast and he ran all summer long. He’s fighting an ankle injury right now so we’re easing him in right now and just running every other day to start off. I think he could definitely qualify for semistate and be pushing into the state meet level is what we’re hoping for.”
Smith is expecting Cousins to have a fast start and a faster finish to the season.
“Over the summer he was running high 16s, low 17s. He got a lot of base work in. He won the Fulton Bulldog 5K run. He was way in front and ran a 17:01 backing off toward the end. He’s got a goal of getting to 16:30 by the end of the year,” he said.
After Cousins there’s a drop off time-wise but Smith said juniors Dalton Daily and Andrew Smith have been stepping up in practices of late. Darrin Chew is a talented sophomore that’s also had faster times lately.
Smith added there are two freshmen out that did well on the 3K junior high course last season.
“One played a lot of basketball and the other worked on a farm this summer so they didn’t get a lot of base work in. Hopefully they’ll be able to pick it up,” Smith said.
The Caston coach said it’ll be tough for his team to get out of the Culver Academy Sectional with bigger schools like Culver Academy, Warsaw and Plymouth in the mix. But he thinks his squad could possibly get a top five finish and advance as a team.
He added that Cousins has a better shot at advancing deep into the tournament than last year considering a rule change that the top 10 finishers on non-advancing teams now advance instead of just the top 15 finishers overall.