By Danielle Hook
The LCC women's cross country team is lacking returning athletes but has plenty of motivation and teamwork as the 2018 season begins.
The Stars were national champs in 2015 and 2016. Last year the women's team finished eighth nationally, and is hoping to continue the trend of being competitive at one of the highest levels.
Returning runner Emma Distelrath from St. Clair is expected to lead the team, according to fifth-year Coach James Robinson said.
Robinson said the squad has some new blood that will help improve the team.
Claudia Baryo from Grand Ledge is a top runner, according to her high school times. Other newcomers, including Anne Lyon from Holt and Jivan Esposito from East Lansing, are also expected to do well, Robinson said.
The chemistry of the team should help fill in the gaps of experience the group lacks.
"Whether we're running easy or doing a hard workout, they're together encouraging each other and pushing each other," Robinson said of the team of 10 runners.
The first cross country meet was scheduled for Friday, Aug. 31 at Olivet College. The team will be competing against other colleges, including Concordia and Kellogg Community College.