2. Townsend cross country (copy)

Last year's Townsend’s boys cross country team, shown here, ran to the first State championship in the sport in program history last season. Only three lettermen return from that group, however, for the Bulldogs.

Gary Marshall, BMGphotos.com

The Class B cross country season gets underway this weekend, as both Elkhorn area teams will partake in the Boulder Invite.

The Townsend boys are the defending State B champions, but return only three lettermen in the persons of Jack Dolan, Louis Ingalls and Zane Newman.

Lost to graduation were State champion Bryant Edgerton, along with fellow All-Staters Nathan Gallegos and Cole Bergstad.

Dolan will lead the Dawgs’ charge this fall, having claimed an All-State medal with his ninth-place finish last year.

Townsend’s girls finished in fifth place at last year’s State Meet. They return five lettermen, led by two-time All-Stater Grace McDonnell. She took sixth at the 2016 meet.

Rounding out the letter earners are Olivia Lynn, Denika Dolan, Evelyna Herrick and Ronnie Steele.

“We had a really good turn out again this year, with everyone competing to earn a varsity spot, it makes us stronger as a team and as individuals,” Townsend coach Brooke Dolan said. “I’m expecting some of our underclassmen to make a difference for the team fairly early in the season.”

For host Jefferson High, coach Bob Ekblom’s boys team is led by seniors Hunter Henshel, Hunter Gilbert and Noah Anspach. Also, junior Gabe Gillmore and sophomore Andy Johnson should contribute significantly.

Laurann Armstrong and Grace Alexander make up the two-person Panthers girls’ team.

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