Warrenton cross-country coach Hayley Espelund Rogers likes talking about the future and potential of the Warriors' running program.
The present is pretty good, too.
A good gauge in every Warrenton season is the preseason running camp (more of a team vacation) the Warriors attend every year in central Oregon.
“Our camp is August 26-29, and it looks to be probably the biggest yet, pushing 20 (runners) at this point,” Rogers said.
In such an individualized sport, there's strength in numbers in cross-country. And there has been a resurgence in Warrenton cross-country numbers in recent years.
In 2018, the Warrenton girls had the only full team in the junior varsity district race — which is an accomplishment in District 1/3A, where the dominant teams are almost always from the private schools.
At the varsity level, four of the five scoring teams on the boys' side were the private schools, while Oregon Episcopal and Catlin Gabel were first and second on the girls' side.
For now, the Warriors are just focusing on themselves.
Among others, the Warrenton girls will have to replace their top runner from 2018, Adriana Dejesus.
“I have confidence in my students that I have coached, and think we will have a competitive girls team if we can fill a couple of the seniors' spots who left last year,” Rogers said.
The candidates among the returners are Hayleigh Anglim (So.), Kaisa Liljenwall (Sr., “also a leader and one of our top varsity girls,” Rogers said), Serena Moha (Sr., “and I’m expecting some great times from her, as she is getting stronger returning from a long injury a few years ago”) and Anna Schenbeck (Sr.).
Newcomers and first-year runners include Divine Godwin (So., ran at Jewell Middle School), Abby Miller (“new, and one of our top track runners”) and Tori Rehnert (Fr., “will be one of our top runners”).
“The girls are also a pretty new team, as we have some new students coming who aren’t necessarily freshmen.”
For the Warrenton boys, Rogers said, “I am expecting a young team that has a lot of future potential. Of course they will be led by Kale Moss (Sr.), one of our older students and one of our top runners.”
In addition to Moss, returners include Forrest Cooley (Jr.), Darren Garnett (Sr.), Jose Talancon (So.), Lucas Thompson (Jr.) and Julien Whitsett (Jr.).
Rogers added, “I also have quite a few new and returning boys who have been running this summer, and may have some great surprises in store.”
Among them, newcomers Tyler Barefoot (So.), Eric Cooley (So.), Joshua Lewis (Fr.), Masyn McCulloch (Fr.) and Raul Molina (Fr.).
“Our boys team is young, and I expect a few really exciting years ahead,” Rogers said.