Cook among top local runners

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The 50th season for the Mt. Vernon boys’ cross country team, the oldest sport at MV — as maintained by longtime coach Bruce Kendall — is sure to be an interesting one.

Four of the squad’s top five sectional runners from a year ago —Matthew Abebe (running at Indiana Wesleyan), Nathan Bode, Gary Maley and Sam Higdon — have departed.

Taylor VanWinkle is the lone runner with substantial varsity experience, but the addition of a strong freshmen class — according to Kendall, it’s the best group of MV newcomers since 1985 — has the future looking bright in Fortville as the boys’ team eyes its sixth straight semistate appearance.

Heading that cluster of ninth graders is Brandt True and Aaron Rush, though Kendall possesses tempered expectations for his youngsters (13 of the team’s 20 runners are underclassmen).

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