Royals will battle depth issues

The Colo-Nesco cross country teams will look to better last year’s efforts in 2013 under second-year coach Tony Stalzer.

Last season both Royal teams struggled early, but showed growth by the end of the year, and Stalzer hopes all his returning runners pick up from where they left off entering the 2013 campaign.

"My main goals are to improve on performances from last year and to keep improving during the season," Stalzer said. "We want steady progress and to be in the best condition we can be by the end of the season."

Back for the Colo-Nesco boys will be Steven Cutler, Jordan Combes and Kyle Miller.

Cutler was the most consistent runner last year for the Royals, peaking with a five-kilometer time of 18 minutes, 21 seconds. Combes led the team most of the first half of the season in 2012 before getting hurt as his top time was 18:41.

Miller’s top time a year ago was 20:59.

Also running varsity this season for the Royal boys will be Elliot Morgan, Caleb Vaughn and Ashton Graddick.

Junior Leah Vincent is the only returning runner with experience on the girls’ team. The Colo-Nesco girls will again be unable to compete in the team standings at meets with only four runners on the roster.

Vincent’s top four-kilometer time a year ago was 19:39 and she ran a 21:02 at the 1A state qualifying meet in Marshalltown.

Joining Vincent this season will be junior Grace Stalzer, along with freshmen Stephanie Norris and Angela Brinkman.

The 2013 season begins for Colo-Nesco on Thursday, Sept. 5 at Madrid. The meet is set to begin at 5 p.m.