CALDWELL- Veteran Caldwell High School head coach Dugan Hill will lead a very experienced squad into action for the 2013 season and once again expectations are high for one of the areas premiere cross country programs.
Hill, who coaches both the girls and the boys teams, has a pair of two-time state qualifiers on his boys' squad in Jonathan Niswonger and Tanner Harding as well as a three-time state qualifier in Jenna Furr on his girls' team.
There are not enough Pioneer Valley Conference teams to make up a conference in 2013, so Caldwell will once again compete in the Ohio Valley Athletic Conference.
"The boys won the OVAC last year so we think they can win their division again this year and the girls were second last year and we are looking for them to win their division this year," said Hill, in his 35th season as a coach for Caldwell. "I really think they both have a shot at winning the district and I also think they both can make it to the state meet."
The boys team will feature four seniors in 2013 including Niswonger, as well as three-year letter winners Calvin Parmiter and Matt Zwick.
Senior Alex Gregg has joined the team this year in his first season of prep cross country.
Harding leads a junior class that includes Derek Riski and Brandon Savage.
Freshman Robby Allen, Benton Parmiter, and Sean Whetstone round out the Caldwell roster.
Furr will attempt to make her fourth consecutive appearance at Columbus this year and Hill likes the leadership she is bringing to the Caldwell girls team.
"Jenna has really kind of taken leadership of the girls team as far as trying to get the girls to do things together," said Hill of Furr, who qualified for state last year based on a 16th place finish in the regionals. "She is really working hard and has put in a lot of hard miles to get ready for this season."
"I think that this year some really good things are going to happen for our girls team," said Furr. "I think we have a good chance at making state due to all the miles we are putting in and the talent we have."
Joining Furr on the girls team are fellow senior and three-year letter winner Molly Saling.
Caldwell will feature a strong junior class with Haylee Saling and a pair of two-year letter winners in Lexi Waller and Katie Sailing, who also qualified for state in 2012.
Julieghanna Feldner, Lindsey Furr, and Anika Van Hoose make up the freshman portion of the Caldwell roster.
"I really think that both teams can finish in the top four in the regional meet and make it to the state meet," said Hill. "I don't think it is outside the realm of possibility for one of these teams to be in the top five in the state."
"We just need to all work as a team and push each other," added Furr.
Caldwell is scheduled to open its season in Hebron on August 17.