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CROSS-COUNTRY NOTEPAD: Wildcats blazing a new trail

Mountain View cross-country coach Dave Davis isn’t accustomed to rebuilding projects.

The Wildcats have been one of the most consistent programs in the Fredericksburg area since the school opened in 2005. Mountain View’s boys captured the Group AAA state championship five years into the program’s existence.

But Davis’ boys entered this season with just one of their top seven runners from last year back on the team.

The matter was complicated further when the lone returner, Alex Bukovich, suffered an ankle injury. Bukovich, who has yet to compete this year, had an MRI on his ankle Monday and could miss the rest of the season. That would leave Davis with a completely overhauled top seven.

“It’s a different situation for us this year,” Davis said. “It’s seven new kids, but I’ve got no excuses. We’re going to do what we can.”

Davis said working with a new group is “unique and actually fun.”

While junior Curtis Mussen and senior Hunter Renard are his top two runners, Davis said this season won’t be about individuals. He said all of his boys are running around 18:20 for 5,000 meters, but will get “better, better, better” as the season progresses.

“I think the concept for these kids is that it’s going to be about what they can do as a group,” Davis said. “If they figure that out, we can actually be pretty decent by the end of the year.”

The girls have an individual standout in junior Jordan Angers, who placed 15th out of 345 competitors at the Oatlands Invitational in Leesburg this past Saturday. Angers completed her run in 19:20, but Davis sees room for improvement.

“We have some technical, mechanical issues that we need to fix,” Davis said. “I thought she was at a 19-minute pace, but she had some issues late in the race.”

Angers and the rest of the Wildcats will be back in action Saturday at the Six Flags Wild Safari Invitational in Jackson, N.J.


—Taft Coghill Jr.