Led by head coach Kelly Williams, both the boys and the girls won the 2012 Douglas County Championships and the Region 4-AAA Cross Country Championship, both at Clinton Nature Preserve in Winston.
Making it to the Class AAA state meet on Nov. 10, the girls finished seventh while the boys finished eighth.
Williams, however, has classified this season as one for rebuilding as the teams, especially the girls, are quite young overall.
“This year we only have five senior boys. We lost one senior boy last year and 12 girls so it’s a newer girls team this year,” said Williams.
With so many new runners on the team, Williams said it is hard to identify a solid top five runners on either side right now, though she did name a few she knows will lead the squad.
She listed Cameron Lord, Isaiah Kennedy, Jamie Robinson and Chase Hancock on the boys’ side.
“For the girls Darby Demarest will lead followed by Eyonnti Edwards, Sakina Omari and then we are looking to see who fills in from there,” Williams said.
Last season, Demarest took second in the girls’ 5,000-meter run at the county meet while Lord took first in the boys’ 5,000-meter — both are juniors.
The team’s summer was filled with running as she said the team put in “lots of miles in those early mornings,” according to Williams.
With the first meet on Aug. 24, the team is still practicing and preparing for the race. Though the Panthers may have less experience this year than last, Williams said she feels good about the runners she has, how well they will grow this year and how they will perform on race days.
“We have a great group of kids, very young and eager to learn. It will be a rebuilding year for us. Hope to be successful and learn a lot,” said Williams.