MIDDLEBURY-SOUTHBURY — The Pomperaug girls’ cross country team is loaded with talent once again this season, despite graduating three of its top seven runners. The team has captured state titles the last three years and is looking once again toward winning both the South-West Conference and Class L titles.
Coach Mark Goodwin returns four top runners that were on the state team last season, and an up-and-coming sophomore who looks to be near the top of the pack.
There was a healthy turnout of girls who also hope to challenge as the year progresses.
Leading the team will be senior Maddie Villa (three time All-SWC, All State performer) and Molly Flanagan (All-SWC). Juniors include Kate Wiser (last year top runner in New England, after winning the SWC, Class MM states, and State Open) and Amanda Kugler, along with sophomore Charlotte Brehmer.
Coach Goodwin notes that the league is very competitive with both Immaculate and New Fairfield coming off state titles in their respective classes last year.
He also notes that both New Milford and Bethel are looking much improved this year.
The Pomperaug boys’ cross country team will open the season at home this week and is looking to defend last year’s SWC title.
Coach Goodwin is looking to make this year’s team competitive, while trying to reload a little after graduating four of the top seven runners from last year’s championship team.
“We won the SWC last year and as many other schools did, had graduation losses,” he commented.
Goodwin went on to explain that he sees his team becoming a factor as October rolls around.
Leading the team will be seniors Trey Generaldi (All-SWC), Hayden Godfrey and Ryan Furr.
Junior Tim Monahan and sophomore Mike Connelly are also looking to score in the top five during the season.
The conference is always a tough test in cross country and the Panthers will be challenged in a couple of Invitationals during the season.