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The Lady Hornets of East Canton return six letter winners from last year's cross country team which finished second in the Inter-Valley Conference.
Back are seniors Ja'Bria Knight and Ashlynn Almasy; and juniors Emily Cain, Savannah Yacklin, Addison Loy and Lena Dotson.
Almasy had a great 2015 season. She earned All-Ohio honor as she finished 20th at the state championships, placed ninth a week earlier at regionals, and was selected to the IVC first team.
Second-team league honors went to Knight, Cain and Yacklin.
"We have more participants this year and a couple girls show signs of raw talent," commented Head Coach Tom Loy. "Thirteen of the 19 girls are rookies, but most either progressed well in middle school or have experience with other sports. The girls are eager to compete and have well-defined goals for the season.
"Although they want to compete, many do not have the training background necessary to sustain them through a long varsity season, and we are working on that.
"We hope to build on last year's success and show marked improvement. We are training to be at our best in October and November, as the meets prior to that are just preparation for those last three of four meets.
"Garaway will once again be the favorites in the IVC, as they only lost one of their top five runners, and have three girls returning who competed at the state track meet. Sandy Valley will also be solid, while Newcomerstown, Tusky Central and Ridgewood should have strong individuals.
"We are training with the IVC meet in mind as that will be the first meet where we will attempt to be at our best as a team."
The Lady Hornets were to start the season at Salem this Saturday, Aug. 27; before hosting the East Canton Invitational on Wednesday, Aug. 31.