Greenfield-Central runners to have young roster in 2023

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Greenfield-Central’s Lexie Copeland, right, races Mt. Vernon’s Hannah Hauser to the finish line at the Rushville Regional.

Mike Brown | For The Daily Reporter

GREENFIELD — The roster is younger and a little bit bigger, maybe a little bit better, too.

Greenfield-Central’s girls cross country team is growing in quantity and quality.

The Cougars will miss lone graduate Reagan Crouch, one of two runners to qualify for last year’s Shelbyville Semi-State, but the team appears to be heading in the right direction.

After having just seven runners on the roster a year ago, G-C has upped its distance running group to 11 for the 2023 season.

“It gives us the flexibility to give people a week off if they’re struggling or having injury-related issues and things like that rather than having to run everybody just to field a team,” coach Scott Burton said.

Among the newcomers are some talented freshmen, including Josie Kinnaman, a middle school track star a year ago who qualified and participated in a pair of national track and field meets. She is already showing the potential to be the team’s No. 1 runner.

It’s a welcome addition to go with junior Lexie Copeland, who finished last season strong by earning all-regional recognition by placing 18th at the Rushville Regional.

It’ll be more than just Kinnaman and Copeland, Greenfield-Central returns three all-county runners.

Copeland (sixth), Emaline Capen (seventh) and Kendal Barrett (10th), all earned all-county recognition by finishing in the top 10 in last year’s county meet. Capen was also just a few spots shy of joining Copeland and Crouch at last season’s semi-state.

Burton said they’re working really well together along with another one of the talented newcomers, freshman Adalyn Cole.

“They’re our top five runners and any one of them could fill any slot from one-to-five depending on the meet,” Burton said. “We have another pack of runners just behind that group with Taylor Cooksey, Addison Gordon, Isabelle Hunt and Ashlyn Devlin. They’re going to be the depth that we hope can offset some of the other teams’ scores.”

The team will be young again this year. Crouch was the only senior a year ago. Capen and Hunt are the only seniors on this year’s team. Copeland is the lone member of the junior class.

Barrett, Cooksey, and Devlin are all varsity returnees and part of a sophomore class that also includes Gordon and Olivia Strickland. Paige Coughenour is another freshman newcomer.

“I’d still consider us a young group with only two seniors on the roster,” Burton added. “And, there’s still a lot of room for them to grow because it’s only (Capen’s) second year running cross country and it’s Isabelle’s first year. They’re still learning the process of competing at the 5K level. Emma did a great job last year for us and that’s going to help her grow this season.”

The Cougars begin their season Saturday at the Valley Kickoff Meet in Terre Haute. They’ll compete most every Saturday and have one mid-week race when they host their lone home event, Cougarpalooza, Sept. 6 at Brandywine Park.

2023 Greenfield-Central girls cross country schedule

Date;Opponent;Time

Aug. 12;2023 Valley Kickoff (Terre Haute);9 a.m.

Aug. 19;at Richmond Invitational;9 a.m.

Aug. 26;at Mt. Vernon Invitational;9 a.m.

Sept. 2;at Columbus North Classic;9:30 a.m.

Sept. 6;Cougarpalooza;5 p.m.

Sept. 9;at Jon Mitchell Invitational (Cascade);9 a.m.

Sept. 16;at Riverview Health Invite (Carmel);9 a.m.

Sept. 23;at HHC (Shelbyville);10 a.m.

Sept. 30;at Nike Twilight (Terre Haute);6 p.m.