AUSTIN EDITION - L/P opens season short-handed
By Scott A. Kolb
Lack of numbers on the roster will prevent the Lyle/Austin Pacelli boys and girls cross country runners from fielding team scores at this year's meets.
Lyle/Pacelli has only three boys running this season and four girls. Despite the small roster, nearly all of the runners are returning letterwinners.
"We are very small in numbers for both our boys and girls team," L/P coach Jim Parlin said. "We lost our top runners from last year, T.J. Parlin and Shawn Pfeil on the boys side and Kate Boisjolie on the girls side, to graduation. We also had a couple of no shows from our potential returning runners of last year.
"Since we are so short on numbers, we'll have to really focus on individual improvements rather than team development. We would welcome new additions to both our girls and boys teams at this point in the season. It's definitely not too late."
Leading the way for the boys are juniors Josh Gunderson and Danny Rysavy. Sophomore Jimmy McDermott is the other runner for the L/P boys.
Gunderson is the team captain and a four-year letterwinner. Rysavy is also a four-year letterwinner and McDermott is a three-year letterman. The L/P boys will have plenty of experience to guide them through the season.
"Josh was our top runner last year and advanced all the way to the state tournament," Parlin said. "He had a somewhat disappointing finish at state and will be aiming to make a return trip this year to improve upon his finish.
"Danny was our number three runner last year and is looking very good in the pre-season training. Jimmy had a lot of varsity experience last year and we're looking for him to build on that this year. We would really like to find a few more boys, so that we could field a complete team later in the season."
The girls might add another runner and that would give them five to field a team. Priscilla Silvestre would be a returning letterwinner, but she has yet to join the team.
For now, the L/P girls will feature four younger runners. Lindsey Jacobsen is a ninth-grader and a returning letterwinner. Emily Rysavy, an eighth-grader, is also a returning letterwinner. Eighth-grader Jena Helbrecht is another returning runner and seventh-grader Ashley Hanson is a first-year runner.
"Lindsey, Emily and Jena were all first-year runners last year and they ran mostly junior high and junior varsity races," Parlin said. "They did compete in a couple of late season varsity races as well. The girls appear to be well ahead of last year's pace at this time and I'm looking forward to seeing their development this year.
"They will all probably start out in some junior high and JV races in the beginning of the season. As the season progresses, we will see if they are ready to take that step up to the varsity level of competition."
Parlin will once again be assisted by Carla Boisjolie. The cross country season opens for L/P on Thursday with a road trip to the Stewartville Invitational.
LYLE/PACELLI CROSS COUNTRY
Juniors -- Josh Gunderson, Dan Rysvay. Sophomore -- Jimmy McDermott. Ninth grade -- Lindsay Jacobsen. Eighth grade -- Emily Rysavy, Jena Helbrecht. Seventh grade -- Ashley Hanson.
Sep. 2 -- at Stewartville, 4 p.m.
Sep. 7 -- at Blooming Prairie, 4:30 p.m.
Sep. 9 -- at Hayfield, 4:30 p.m.
Sep. 14 -- at Dover-Eyota, 4:25 p.m.
Sep. 21 -- at New Richland-Hartland-Ellendale-Geneva, 4:30 p.m.
Sep. 25 -- at Princeton Invitational, TBA
Sep. 30 -- at Zumbrota-Mazeppa, 4:30 p.m.
Oct. 7 -- at Lewiston-Altura, 4:15 p.m.
Oct. 11 -- at Plainview, 4 p.m.
Oct. 19 -- at Blue Earth Area, 4:15 p.m.