With the number of runners up, the Beckman boys are looking for great things in this cross country season.

Third-year head coach Tyson Squiers welcomes returning runners: senior Isaac Schlarmann, juniors Sam Oberbroeckling and Danil Wall and sophomore Cassius McGrane. The same number of newcomers swell their ranks: junior Nathan Schaefer and freshmen Spencer Rea, Ean Brown and Isaac Westhoff.

“Our numbers are up from the past two years,” exclaimed Squiers, “and that makes me really happy. We have a lot of eager newcomers that I think are going to shine this year. Our veteran runners have been putting in good mileage this summer and I believe that will be a strength, even early in the season. We just finished our team camp this week and our team togetherness and bond was strengthened early. That will be key in our success as I preach pack running mentality.”

Squiers went on to add, “our biggest strength is our numbers. Typically, we barely have had enough to field a varsity team but this year we will have a full varsity squad as well as enough for a scoring JV team. This keeps our athletes motivated to push each other and earn their spots.

“Another key this year will be our captains. In the past, we haven’t elected captains. This year we have two co-captains (Schlarmann and Oberbroeckling) that will need to step up and be leaders on the team. I’m putting a lot of responsibility on them to hold their teammates accountable and to speak up when necessary.”

Squiers is predicting a top 10 finish for the Blazers in WaMaC competition.

With the smallest team in numbers that Squiers has seen, the Blazer girls may be called upon to work as hard as they ever have.

The team loses state qualifier Emma Squiers from last year (23rd in 2A) as well as three others, but does return some experience in senior Olivia Thier, juniors Isabelle Kluesner and Morgan Hermsen and sophomore Sydney Reiter.

“After one of the best seasons the Beckman girls have ever had, we will definitely have big shoes to fill this year,” said coach Squiers. “Three of our top runners graduated last year. Our team is the smallest I have seen as head coach but our athletes are well-prepared and ready to prove themselves. It will definitely be a tough year, but I have no doubt our girls will come together and work to continue to improve on their previous times to achieve our season goals. Our summer has been fantastic in regards to mileage. It’s money in the bank that we get to cash in soon enough.”

Squiers went on to add, “Our biggest strength is our team’s passion. The girls have been telling me since spring what their goals are and how excited they are to get back on the course to work toward those goals. They’re hard workers and always looking to better themselves.