(Glenview Announcements) Two Glenbrook South cross country runners will be guiding with their legs instead of their voices this season.
Seniors Brad Berg and Sam Stanek aren’t the most vocal leaders, but head coach Kurt Hasenstein believes the two will set the pace.
“We’re expecting big things from them,” said Hasenstein of his expected captains. “They had a really good summer mileage-wise and they’re both healthy coming into the season.”
Berg, who finished ninth at regionals and was named to the all-conference team last season, kept busy running the 3,200 meters for the track team.
Stanek, who placed 17th at regionals, followed the same game plan and nearly broke the school record in the 800-meter run.
“He’s really starting to gain a lot of confidence to be one of the better runners in the league for sure, if not the area,” Hasenstein said.
For the upcoming campaign, Hasenstein hopes his squad will push for the No. 2 spot in the CSL behind New Trier, but set a goal to place in the top half.
Last season, GBS ended in fifth at the CSL Meet and took sixth at the Lake Forest Regional.
Hasenstein believes some of his younger runners can eventually contribute to the varsity squad, but for now will play the waiting game.
“It’s just going to take a few weeks for them to get seasoned a little bit with varsity competition and just the pace that it goes out the first mile is totally different than the frosh/soph level,” said Hasenstein. “I think they can race with them, but it’s just a little bit of a shock to their system when they go out and it’s a 5-minute mile instead of a 5:20 or 5:30 at a frosh/soph level.”
Hasenstein thinks people will see a completely different lineup by the squad’s Oct. 1 trip to Peoria.
One sophomore has already drawn his coach’s attention. David O’Gara, who finished seventh at the freshman CSL Meet last season, is looking to climb the ranks with the varsity.
“I would actually expect (O’Gara) to be our third runner if I could put them on paper right now based on what he’s done over the summer and what his times were last year during the track season,” Hasenstein said.
Hasenstein believes he will be able to rely on O’Gara after he trained in the offseason with Stanek. The Titans also will be counting on returning senior Luke Brown and juniors Peter Westerfield and Dan Weathers.
Brown wrapped up his 2010 season with a 32nd-place finish at the CSL Meet in 17:41. At the sophomore CSL Meet, Westerfield and Weathers finished 10th (17:17) and 17th (17:38), respectively. They joined the varsity for regionals.
“We’re bringing them along slowly because we do have some younger guys and some of them had knick-knack injuries over the summer,” said Hasenstein. “We just have to be careful with them because our depth isn’t that great. But if they get hurt, then we really put ourselves behind the 8-ball in our league with New Trier and Maine South, which is extremely strong.”
GBS opens up the 2011 season with a dual meet at home against Glenbrook North on Aug. 29.