Evart cross country coach expects another productive season

EVART — Evart's cross country team continues to get ready for what coach Kevin Mills expects will be another productive season.

The Wildcats graduate their top boys runner, Santana Scott, the Division 4 state champion, who is now at the University of Detroit-Mercy. Their top girl runner, Mara VanOrder, has graduated and is now running track at Cornerstone University.

For the boys, senior Josh Woods, the captain is expected to take over the No. 1 spot for the Wildcats. He was No. 2 last season behind Scott.

Nathan Woods, a sophomore, Josh's brother, will contend for the No. 2 spot. Also back are brothers Alex and Austin Hamilton who were injured for half the season with injuries and illnesss.

Jacob Quist is a junior back from last season, plus Tanner Ryan.

"We don't have as much potential as we did last year," Mills said. "But if we can keep everyone healthy and off the injury list we'll do at least as good as last year if not better. We were eighth place at state last year. We're hoping for a regional championship and better than eighth place."

Sarah Nelson, a junior, will lead the pack for the girls. Senior Brooke Belleville also is back for Evart, plus Arianna Mooney, a junior. Rose Clark and Grace Green will be   freshman runners. Mills expects to have a full scoring team for the girls. The goal is a third-place finish in the conference. Evart also hopes to have a state qualifier.

Key meets for Evart this season will be its home invitational on Sept. 24.

The season starts Aug. 24 at the Baker Woods Invitational and will also feature the Cadillac Invitational on Aug. 31, the Manton Ranger Cross Country Relays on Sept. 7 and three Highland Conference jamborees.