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Season preview: Belgreen XC readies for fall

While many have likely noticed basketball, volleyball and football teams practicing this summer, a sport like cross country can fly under the radar. Coach Colby Cox has made sure his Belgreen runners have been working just as hard to prepare for their upcoming season.

“We have held several workouts this summer to try to build a good foundation for the upcoming year,” said Cox. “Our varsity boys will have the most experience we have had in a while. I look for them to challenge one another and lead the rest of the squad as we go throughout the year.”

Ivan Luna and Canaan Stough are two of Cox’s top returning boys. Two seniors, Tyler Mann and Jackson Galliano, have experience but did not run this past year.

Belgreen will also have two young runners, freshman Landon Cox and eighth-grader Miguel Perez.

“Ivan Luna qualified and ran state last year for me, and had it not been for COVID protocol, Canaan and Landon would have ran sectionals and very likely qualified for state,” Cox explained. “So I look forward to building on that.

“Miguel is a young guy who I expect to help this varsity boys squad,” Cox added. “He is young, and I am very excited about his ability.”

The Belgreen girls cross-country runners will have to work to rebuild with the loss of Kimberly Luna, who signed with Calhoun Community College, but Cox has a lot of young runners to work with.

“I am very excited to watch our girl runners grow this year,” Cox said. “Maria Estrada and Dulce Donagustin will be my two oldest girls, both seniors. Eighth-graders Briseyda Luna and Audree West will play a big part in the success of the girls’ team as well.

“Junior Sydnee West will be coming in off of a knee injury to hopefully provide some depth for the girls team.

“I have a lot of young girls this year that will be running JV and hopefully one or two who will be ready to run a varsity race by the end of the season.”

Belgreen will compete in a two-mile warm-up at Bob Jones High School Aug. 21.