The Peabody-Burns High School cross country team will run with experience at the helm this year.
Expectations are high for both team and individual events this season with the return of junior Aaron Topham and sophomore Lauren Pickens.
Also on the roster are other athletes who have considerable experience.
Seniors Kendall Wiebe and Seth Methvin both return to the boys’ team as state qualifiers from last season.
Wiebe placed 50th at state and had a 14th-place finish at regionals. He also had a 14th-place finish at league.
Methvin was 84th at state, 30th at regionals, and 35th at league.
Another senior, Jake Middleton joins the team this year. Middleton is a newcomer, but looks to be a good competitor.
The junior class is led by Topham, but also includes veterans Josh Klarmann and Curtis Frederick.
Topham was all-state in 2007 with a 20th-place finish at the final meet. He placed sixth at regionals and second at league.
Klarmann was a state-qualifier and finished 56th in the event.
He had an 18th-place finish at regionals and was 12th at league.
Frederick suffered last season with an injury but did compete at league and crossed the finish line at 30th.
The juniors are joined this year by Christian Schafer, a foreign exchange student from Germany.
Sophomore Sheldon Wiebe also was a state-qualifier from last season, and finished 55th at the state meet. He was 15th at regionals and 27th at league.
The Warrior women are paced by sophomore Lauren Pickens.
Pickens was last seen on the podium in May at the state track and field meet with three gold medals around her neck.
She was a state-qualifier from last cross country season, finishing 16th, and was an all-state athlete.
She earned a ninth-place finish at regionals and was 16th at league.
Pickens and her lady Warrior teammates, sophomore Heather Brooks and freshman Amanda Pickens, will compete individually again this season as they do not have a full roster of girls to compete as a team.
Brooks is a second-year runner and Amanda Pickens comes to the team from the junior high ranks. Both girls are good competitors and steady runners.
The team opened Thursday at Clearwater and placed seven individual runners in the top 35.
Kendall Wiebe led the junior/senior division with a fifth-place finish. Topham was seventh, Klarmann came in 13th, Frederick ran at 28th, and Middleton was 32nd.
In the freshman/sophomore division Lauren Pickens finished ninth for the women and Sheldon Wiebe was 12th for the men.
The team is coached by third year head coach Kim Topham.