For the next 10 weeks, Lake Highlands cross country runners will do something the majority of people hate to do: Wake up early on the weekends and run.

Saturday’s Greenhill Relays is the first of 10 meets LH will compete in this season. The year culminates with the District 9-5A meet on Halloween eve, Oct. 30th.

Expectations are high. Even with the departure of Austin Roth, boys’ team members feel they have a chance to continue their winning ways.

“We are looking to repeat as district champions this year, and are hopeful that we might have some state qualifiers,” senior captain Nathan Hogg said.

Jordan Gerber is the other senior captain, but from talking to players and coaches it’s apparent that junior Meron Fessahaie is the top runner on the team. During the summer practices Fessahaie was the trend setter as to how far they would run each day.

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This year’s team has more depth and is quicker than previous years, which they hope will help replace the production of past runners such as Roth.

“We have greater speed throughout the team,” Hogg said.

The girls’ team is loaded with two-sport athletes. Both senior captains, Grace Devaney and Michal Ann Star, are varsity soccer players. 

Same as the boys, the girls expect a successful season and don’t foresee a letdown occurring.

“We will be good this year,” Devaney said.