Coach: John Kihorany.
2012: Third in Northern Ohio League.
Returning letterwinners: Seniors Adam Young; Brandon Gibson; Chris Gates. Junior Tyler Mesnard. Sophomore Adam Forrest.
Columbian?Boys Cross Country: (front, left) Dathan Liming, Tanner Schreiner, Kyler Lange, Chris Gates, Tyler Mesnard (back) John Kihorany, Adam Forrest, Adam Young, Brandon Gibson, Tyler Lewis.
Others: Senior Tyler Lewis. Juniors Evyn Stevens; Kyler Lange. Freshmen Dathan Liming; Tanner Schreiner.
Outlook: In Gibson's first year running cross country, all he was able to accomplish was a top-50 finish at November's state meet. From what Kihorany has seen during the summer, there doesn't seem to be any kind of letdown.
"He's followed along with putting in a great season of summer mileage," Kihorany said. "Chris and Tyler are kind of following along as well, putting in all the work now and hopefully it will pay off."
Gates and Lewis give the team a strong top three and Kihorany said the underclassmen are doing what they can to make the team as strong as it possibly can be.
"A lot of people know we have the 1-2-3 punch coming back," he said. "The kids that are underneath those three are working really hard to make the team score as long as possible. Everyone's buying into the program and working real hard and hoping for the best."
According to Kihorany, spots 4-7 on the varsity lineup are up for grabs and everybody is fighting to earn a spot.
"There's competition for every single spot after those top three," he said. "We have a couple freshman that are trying to get into those spots and seniors that don't want to give those spots up. We have a daily competition and I think it's great."
Gibson is looking for a return trip to state, and Gates and Lewis are more than capable to give him some company this time around.
"That's the goal," Kihorany said. "They're shooting for that. Everyone went down to watch (Gibson) run and saw what a great time it was. They want to be down there, only racing this time and not watching. That's their primary goal.
"I think they're very, very hungry, to put it point blank. They're very hungry to get out and race and get all the rewards for running all the miles they've run this summer."