Arlington High School's two returning state cross-country qualifiers are ready for another go-around.
“I'm excited,” senior Noah Kubat said before Tuesday's practice — his team's second of the new season. “I think we can do a lot of great things this year. I'm just ready to get back into it.”
Junior Elizabeth Morrison, meanwhile, is riding the same wavelength, particularly because of her fresh new outlook.
“Most of the time it's a lot of pressure, but this year I want to have some fun and, of course, be successful,” she said. “The stress didn't really help me the past two years, so I'm trying to take that away a little bit.”
The Eagles' two state qualifiers will be joined by seven more returning letterwinners — Kaylie Erwin, Jordyn Hancock, Sam Kubat, Alex Luttig, Colby Grefe, Lucas O'Daniel and Noah Hoffschneider — when second-year coach Michaela Curran's squad opens the season Sept. 5 at Two Rivers State Park for the Douglas County West meet. Before then, Arlington is setting goals and working toward them.
“We're hoping to make it as a team to state,” Kubat said. “And I'm hoping to get top five.”
A week short of a month of practice will make sure the Eagles are ready to go.
“It just really prepares you for the races,” Morrison said. “Or it just gets you mentally prepared for how it's going to be.”
Kubat knows concentration will be key.
“I'm just staying focused during practice and going all-out during my workouts,” he said, before revealing his duties as a senior. “Not having anybody walk or anything and just staying on top of everyone.”
The end result, AHS hopes, will be more than just two state qualifiers in 2019.
“Having everyone there is a big deal,” Kubat said. “(I want) everybody to have that experience.”