Coach: Mike Menard (1st year)
Last year: 7-8
Key Returnees: Kelsey Magri, Sr.; Bailey Stokes, Sr.; Maria Giacoletto, Sr.; Holly Leskovitz, Sr.; Hannah Barbarotta, Jr.
Menard comes in with plenty of running experience himself. An ultramarathon competitor, he also directs the Hancock Shaker Village 50 race.
Fourteen seniors graduated from the 2012 Braves squad, so Menard says it's a smaller team than usual. However, he notes that he has a strong group of freshmen to go with the upperclassmen who are back. Paige Hinman, Carli Scolforo and Rachel Tynan are three of the freshmen Menard mentioned specifically.
"I feel like I come from a lot of experience, so I'm not trying to catch up as far as knowledge," the coach said. "What I'm trying to do is get to know what they can do."
Senior Kelsey Magri showed great improvement in 2012, cutting over two minutes off of her 5,000-meter time at the Brown Invitational in Warwick, Rhode Island.
Magri comes in as the Braves' likely No. 1 runner. She's been, at times, running with Taconic's boys to pick up her own pace.
She'll be backed up by able senior runners Stokes and Giacoletto, as well as junior Barbarotta and sophomore Karli Manship.
"Our three seniors really have given me lots of support coming into this," Menard said. "In fact, more so than I ever would have thought. They're really buying into what I'm trying to bring ... and it's been a lot easier because of that."
Menard considers this a transition year for both himself and the squad.
"We want the freshmen and sophomores to have a good experience, so they come back, but I'm sure I bring ... different ideas and different aspects of running," the coach said.
GIRLS CROSS COUNTRY