• Sophomore Harli Woolsey returns to lead Centennial’s girls cross country squad. COURTESY PHOTO/SHAW STUDIOS

CHS’ Eden enjoying coaching

In the past, there have been times when Centennial cross country coach Sarah Eden wasn’t excited about going to practice.

That isn’t the case this year.

Her girls squads are usually joys to coach but at times the boys squads have been shall we say “stinkers.”

“I’m so excited to go to practice each day,” Eden said. “It’s just fun.”

Eden’s excitement probably comes from the fact that major cogs in a girls squad that placed third at the UIL Class 5A state championships are back.

Heading the list is freshman Harli Woolsey, who placed fourth at state. Also back is senior Sarah Trammel, who was 20th at state, and junior Ashley Campbell (39th at state).

The program did take a blow when Abby McCandless (32nd at state) moved to San Antonio.

“Losing Abby was a huge blow,” Eden said. “I’m still looking for who will be my fourth and fifth runners.”

The funny thing is finishing third at state didn’t drive more runners to the program.

Instead of the usual 20 runners, the girls team has just 14 on the roster.

But Eden won’t let that get her down.

“The girls are just wonderful to work with,” Eden said.

Eden is excited by the thought that both Centennial and Burleson could place first and second in both the boys and girls races at the District 5-5A championships.

“It’s so cool because we should be one, two which is awesome for the school district,” Eden said. “I would much rather be the one on top but I’ve love it if both of us finished first or second.”

What has Eden thrilled about the boys team, which finished second at district last season and 12th at the Region II championships, is the attitude and maturity level they have displayed in workouts.

“It’s really cool to watch them because some of them have matured mentally and emotionally,” Eden said. “There is about a pack of eight that push each other and encourage each other. I love that. I don’t have to ask them to do that, they are just doing it.”

The leader of group is senior Trenton Kelly, who ran as freshman on the Spartans squad that reached the state championships. Also back are seniors Derek Larabell and Ryan Valdez and junior Nick Newby.
Another promising runner is freshman Luke Johnson.

“I’m still trying to figure out the rest of the varsity lineup,” Eden said. “What I like about the boys is they have a family atmosphere about them and that has me excited. This team is bonding and it’s really cool to watch.”

Centennial ran at the Mansfield Timberview Relay Saturday and opens the season Saturday at the Woodhouse Invitational in Waxahachie.

The District 5-5A championships are slated for Oct. 11 at Chisenhall Fields in Burleson.

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