Wando boys cross country aims for title this fall
By David Shelton
Mt. Pleasant - Wando High boys cross country coach Bret Davis can barely contain his excitement when talking about the potential of his 2014 team. What excites him even more is the potential of building a AAAA dynasty in the sport.
The 2014 Warriors are the clear favorites to win the Class AAAA state championship in November. Wando already has competed in two major statewide events in the early part of the season and established itself as one of the top AAAA teams with strong finishes. And, the team has been without its top runner, senior Andrew Gawryluk.
Davis’ team is anchored by a solid core group of seniors, which includes Gawryluk, Logan Veatch, Matias Montiel, and Jacob Spencer. The Warriors finished state runner-up to Mauldin in 2013 but the sights are set much higher this fall.
“We have a team that possesses a lot of experience in our upperclassmen,” says Davis, now in his third season as the head coach. “We have a number of runners back that participated in the state meet last year. We feel like our experience and work ethic will be a major factor.
“We certainly have the potential to be state champions and that’s the end goal. It’s great to compete and win these races during the season but everything we do is geared to November. We want to be at our best when it counts.”
We certainly have the potential to win the state championship and that’s the end goal. It’s great to compete and win these races during the season but everything we do is geared to November. We want to be at our best when it counts.”
Gawryluk’s return will strengthen the team overall. He is the most accomplished runner in the program, finishing fifth in the AAAA state meet last season
“He is a phenomenal runner and when he is 100 percent, he’s going to make us much better overall,” said Davis. “What impresses me most is how the other guys have taken the role as leaders and we have not missed a beat.”
Depth is Wando’s strength and much of the depth comes from a group of underclassmen that promises to make Wando a title contender for years to come, according to Davis.
Freshman Patrick Spychalski, sophomores Bradley Sanders and Jarrod Bohr, and junior Luke Daniel have competed very well this fall, making it tough to predict who the top five scorers will be in each event.
“It’s exciting to see the work ethic and commitment from the underclassmen,” said Davis. “We are developing amazing depth within the program and the competition from inside the team is really making us stronger.
“As good as last year’s team was, this year’s team is basically blowing them out of the water with their times and competitiveness. That’s so exciting for me as a coach to see how strong our younger group of athletes are right now. We are fortunate to have a lot of athletes really interested in cross country and we are pushing each other down the line.”