“We are just happy we get to run,” said Andrew Bomleny talking after a recent EP Panther cross country practice. The junior along with his teammates have begun navigating their way through a cross country season that will be unlike any in the past.
In July the IHSA gave its blessing for schools to begin their cross country seasons, but COVID-19 restrictions will make for a very challenging season according to Panther Head Coach Liz Green.
On the upside the team has plenty of athletes entering the season adding a few to its ranks from the Panther volleyball and football programs, which will not see action until the spring. The squad also boasts a large freshman class that saw great success at the middle school level last year as both boys and girls teams qualified for the state finals.
On the girls’ side junior Dylan Chandler looks to be the front runner along with senior Jorden Robinson. Three varsity volleyball players Kara Schipper, Jade Nickerson, and Madyson Bushaw will also look to contribute to the team.
Junior Andrew Bomleny is pegged as the lead runner for the boys with senior Carter Jepson battling for the lead spot as well. Five other seniors will also be looking to crack to the top five spots for EP.
Along with her husband and assistant coach Tom, Green is embarking on her eleventh season at the helm of the program. However, she is extremely nervous as to how the season will play out with the numerous restrictions the IHSA has put on the sport.
Meets will be conducted with each team running the course independently and final results will be determined by time. Spectators numbers will also be limited.
Green and her athletes give their thoughts on the upcoming season.