A Catholic Central runner competes in the recent Racine County Invite. (Mike Ramczyk/SLN)

By Dana Ehrmann

Sports Correspondent    

While Catholic Central will not field a complete team of five runners on either the girls or boys side this cross country season, but they are not slowing down.

“The goal this season is to work on individual improvement,” said first-year head coach Rick Koceja.

Coaching alongside Koceja are assistants James Koceja and Melissa Grandi.

“The athletes have adjusted well to a new coaching staff and are eager and willing to train and compete with a different coaching philosophy,” said the head coach.

Returning for the boys are senior John Pum and sophomore Conall Lynch.

According to Coach Koceja, Pum displays “an excellent work ethic for teammates.”

The coach also notes that Lynch, back for his second year on the team, works diligently to improve.

Juniors Emma Klein and Ellie Nevin return for the girls this season, and bring their veteran leadership with them.

The Topper newcomers are sophomore Sam Henderson, junior Rachel Czerwinski and sophomore Abigail Sheehan.

Henderson has already shown signs of what Coach Koceja calls “upward potential.”

In the first Topper meet, the Racine County Meet at Johnson Park on Saturday, Aug. 26, Henderson earned an eighth-place finish and a medal.

Ellie Nevin also medaled, finishing 10th in her junior race.

In the sophomore races, Conall Lynch was 18th, while Abigail Sheehan finished in 25th.

In the girls junior race, Emma Klein finished 17th while Rachel Czerwinski placed 18th.

John Pum ended the day in 13th in his senior race.