Rams have depth on boys, girls cross country teams

Tyler Ziimbro

STRASBURG – Strasburg’s boys and girls cross country teams should have plenty of depth this season.

Strasburg coach Jeff Rudy said numbers for both teams are up and he’s looking forward to seeing what his teams can do this season.

“We’re excited at the depth and quality of athletes that we have running for us this year,” Rudy said. “A lot of new faces, some up-and-coming ninth-graders on the girls side. Some transfers in from other school systems as well that’s creating a large pool for us that’s going to create some good competition for our top seven athletes.”

Strasburg’s boys team has a mix of inexperience and youth. The Rams have no seniors on the squad but still return some valuable experienced runners.

Juniors Anthony Cadle and Tyler Zimbro will look to lead the team this season. Both are coming off strong track and field seasons for the Rams.

Anthony Cadle

“We’re really excited about the season and have a lot of potential,” Cadle said. “We have a lot of juniors and sophomores. So we’ll be good for the next couple years.”

Zimbro said the juniors on the team are trying to take the leadership reins and help out the younger runners.

“We need to step it up and we need to be a good example on the sophomores and freshmen,” he said. “And we’re going to continue that into senior year.”

Rudy said that Cadle, Zimbro and fellow junior Josh Knight will be leading the way for the team this season, but he’s also excited for some of the younger runners. Rudy said he’s been impressed with junior Dylan Baker, who is new to the team. Rudy said that sophomores Zach Asher and Seth Nicholson are also expected to be key contributors for the team.

The girls team has only one senior, Debra Dillman. The Rams lost Rachel Palmer and Kara Bowman to graduation, but have a strong nucleus of returners and some promising freshmen. Palmer finished 39th in the Class 2 state meet last year.

Debra Dillman

Dillman said she’s looking forward to the upcoming season.

“Things are going great,” Dillman said. “We’re doing some good running. We’re getting together as a team. We’re talking a lot together and working together and it’s really nice.”

Rudy said he’s been pleased with freshmen Eva Long and Summer Marcondes. He said he also expects juniors Mary Carter and Abigail Davis to be keys to the team’s success as well.

Rudy said he wants both of his teams to be competitive this season in the Bull Run District and the postseason.

“We’re just excited to see how this season unfolds, to get back to the level of talent and competition that we are known for,” he said. “And we have a great group of kids this year. We’re really excited to see them race. Our first race of the season is the Central (Invitational on Saturday). It will be exciting to see a lot of talent both experienced racers and inexperienced racers tackling the 5,000-meter race for the beginning of the year.”