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Change in the air for Lowell cross country program

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Three things have the changed the outlook of the Lowell boys cross team in 2011.

Commitment to the program. Focus on the workouts and a more competitive look and approach.

Red Arrow boys’ cross country coach, Clay VanderWarf is impressed by what he’s been seeing and by the attitude

“The boys are more optimistic and focused,” VanderWarf said. “The last couple of years have been tough, but I think we may begin to see changes this year.”

VanderWarf has already seen a drastic change in numbers. Team participation has doubled this year, from 8 to 16.

“What’s really nice is we have a bunch of the boys running tightly in a pack and not far behind our leaders,”  VanderWarf explained.

Contributors returning from last year are senior Ben Partridge; juniors, John Mark and Scott VanOosten and sophomore Jon Wyckoff .

Mark and Partridge will start with times in the low to middle 18s. VanderWarf  believes getting into the high 17’s is realistic.

New freshman that could step in and help out immediately are Zac Diamond and Nick Macdonald.

“I see them running in the low to high 18’s.

Seniors and first year runners Travis Gordon and Ben Hart may also play a role  before the year’s out.

Grand Rapids Christian is viewed as the leader of the O-K White pack and by a wide margin, according to VanderWarf. “They have been a cross country powerhouse for a long time and I don’t see that changing this year,” he says. “I think we will be much more competitive than we were the past couple of years.”