The Islander Cross Country program is cooking up something special this year, according to legendary Coach George Green—who’s entering his 33rd year at Coronado High School.
Green said the program often is too small to get a large enough group of runners who will be able to compete with bigger high schools.
This fall, however, he said there’s a shift in the wind for Coronado High School.
Talented, returning runners
When looking over his rosters on the boys and girls teams, Green noted that the program has plenty of talented, returning runners.
“Three of the girls from last year are running very well in pre-season training. The three returning varsity-level girls are sophomore Morgan Maske, junior Jaya Jost, and senior Natalia Amkie,” said Green.
The Lady Islanders also are anticipating the arrival of four freshmen standouts: Maesan Everitt, Gwynne Letcher, Carly DeVore and Nadia Roos, Green said.
This young quartet rounds out the female group who Green is looking forward to coaching this year.
Moving onto the boys’ team, Green said they are a squad with just as much talent and potential as the girls.
Roos leads boys squad
Green explained that wasn’t always the case, and just a year ago it felt at times as if the boys team only had a few competitive runners.
Fortunately for the Islanders, one of those runners is gearing up for his senior season.
Rafael Roos, a senior, will be leading the pack, while Jack Letcher is greatly improving as he enters his junior year, Green said.
According to Green, track athlete and sophomore Nathan Ayan is also poised for a big year.
Ayan earned enough points in distance track events in the spring to be named the Boys’ Track and Field MVP.
“We’ve recently added a new runner with a bit of youth experience who will help us a lot, freshman Xavier Marsh,” said Green.
Green finished by naming senior Jack Shumaker as the runner expected to complete the boys’ team.
Although a senior, Shumaker won’t be heading into this season with as much experience as some of the others after taking last season off due to training conflicts with another sport.
According to Green, these athletes make up solid teams for both sides of the varsity program.
Final spot for boys’ team up for grabs
He said there are 30 total runners across the two teams, and the final seventh spot for the boys’ squad still needs to be claimed by a potential newcomer.
“Among the top kids there is great motivation and chemistry to compete well as a team in both league and CIF meets,” said Green.
The first meet is Aug. 25, when the Islanders travel to West Hills High School for the Wolf Pack Invitational.
Editor’s Note: This story was updated Aug. 21 to note one of the runners previously mentioned is no longer on the boys team.