KEARNEY — In preparation for the upcoming cross country season, coaches from Kearney, Liberty, Liberty North and Smithville high schools filled out a questionnaire about achievements last season and what they look forward to heading into the 2021-22 season. The following is Kearney head coach Jeff Roberts’ answers.

How many runners from last season did you lose? How many return?

“We lost four varsity boys and three varsity girls from conference,” said Roberts. “Returners: Noah Thurston (12), all conference and all district; Cody Adams (12), all conference and all district; Kyler Chappell (11), all conference.”

What players last season received all-state or all-conference awards?

“Abby Elam (11), all conference, all district and all state; Bella Donze (11), all conference and all district; Heidi Adams (10), all conference and all district; and Gracie Bomar (10) all conference,” said Roberts.

Who are your team’s heavy contributors for this season?

“Abby Elam and Kyler Chappell should be our leaders this year,” said Roberts. “Seniors Noah Thurston and Cody Adams should also be a big help as senior leaders this year.”

Who are newcomers that you feel will make an immediate impact?

“Ninth-graders Alex Kinstler and Olivia Brock should be great additions to the girls’ team,” Roberts said.

What are your team’s strengths heading into the current season? Weaknesses?

“The girls should be much improved as a team. We have lots of good freshmen and sophomores on the team to add to an excellent junior class,” Roberts said of season strengths. In terms of weaknesses, the “boys only have 12 athletes out this year and that will be tough.”

What are the key matchups to note for the season?

“Conference, district and state should be great races competing against Platte County and Smithville,” said the Kearney coach.

Managing Editor Amanda Lubinski can be reached at amanda.lubinski@mycouriertribune.com or 903-6001.

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