Lovik, Snow outstanding cross country runners

Outstanding runner awards for cross country went to John Lovik and Megan Snow during the cross country awards dessert on Nov. 5.

Shant Little was named the most improved by his teammates. Mike Lummus won the spirit award.

Team captains Lovik and Snow added a new award this year, the captain’s award for one person who gives 100 percent all the time and always shows up to practice. That was given to Diane Kennelly.

Though the boys team will lose several runners, the girls team will return everyone, Coach Wayne Spinney said. “The entire girls team is coming back. If we can add a couple of people and the girls can show some commitment and improvement, we’ll have a chance of moving up into the top four in the league, a solid fourth.”

Cascade, Molalla and Sisters will present tough girls teams next year.

Coach Spinney hopes to tap newer runners like Danyel Cranford to begin making the Huskies more competitive.

Though she didn’t run much this year, “she’s a very talented athlete, one of the most talented,” Coach Spinney said. “What she lacks is the confidence to actually do it.”

Toward the end of the year, she was showing more confidence in herself, Coach Spinney said. “Megan (Snow), Anne (Helfrich) and Kim (Lovik) will give us a good one-two-three punch.”

Also joining them will be Kennelly, Sonia Arroyo and Julia Henthorne.

One issue the team will need to deal with is participation in two sports, Coach Spinney said. “There’s a good chance school policy will be altered to allow athletes to succeed in a single sport rather than dividing their efforts, say between soccer and cross country.”

A number of cross country runners doubled this fall in soccer and several will need to make decisions.

“We have one of the best runners in the state in John Lovik,” Coach Spinney said. With that, he urges runners to “come out and run with and win state.”

This year, “we were hoping we’d do better,” Coach Spinney said. “We were hoping the caboose would catch up to the engine, but it didn’t.”

Coach Spinney had also hoped Lovik would have a break-through season, but he ended up fighting off several illnesses, breaking up his early season.

With an eye on next year, Coach Spinney urges his remaining runners to work hard all year long and suggests they run spring track. Cross country season begins right after track, and runners should be running all summer long.

“Coming back, I would have the same hope I had last year, and the beginning of this year, that we could challenge Molalla, Sisters and Stayton,” Coach Spinney said. “At this point, if we don’t show improvement, we’re fourth again. My challenge to them is to work. My promise is to them is they will have a summer schedule.”

That will include several races, include a July 4 run at Monmouth then a run on Sportsman’s Holiday in Sweet Home.

“I think the kids had fun overall for the most part,” Coach Spinney said of the season.

Departing seniors include Chris Burford, Richard Westvik, Kyle Temple, Lummus and Robert McGarry.

Returning runners include Lovik, Aaron Lovik, Chris Lovely, possibly Ryan Garrett, Tyler Kistner, Little and Sam Crain.

Earning their third letters were Westvik, J. Lovik, Temple and Snow. Earning second year letters were Lovely and managers Angie Henderson and Wendy Eldridge. Earning first-year letters were Lummus and Kennelly.