Cross country and track head coach Terry Weir. Hatchet File Photo
A recruiting class of 22 runners will join the cross country and track program this fall, head coach Terry Weir announced Wednesday.
The group of five men and 17 women is the largest individual class the program has ever recruited, aided by the reinstatement of track last year. The athletes will compete in cross country, indoor and outdoor track.
“With this class size we’ve added some much-needed depth to both the men’s and women’s rosters,” Weir said in a release. “I believe a number of these incoming freshmen will make an immediate impact within the Atlantic 10 this year. We are very excited about the Class of 2019.”
Standouts in the men’s class include Andrew Weber, who qualified for the IHSA State Finals as an individual in the 3200m as a senior at St. Ignatius Prep in Chicago, and Sawyer Bilton, who won conference, county, district and regional championships in the 800m as a student at Boca Raton Community High School in Boca Raton, Fla. Bilton placed fourth overall in the Florida State Championship in the 800m, in which he runs a personal best of 1.55.
Milton Academy (Mass.) cross country and track captain Connor James, Reading, Mass. native Aiden Kolenik and Max Del Rio out of Compton, Calif. round out the incoming runners on the men’s side.
The women’s group is headlined by Philadelphia’s Taryn Millbourne, last year’s Pennsylvania Independent Schools Athletic Association State Outdoor Individual Champion in the 200m. She also won three consecutive Friends School league titles as an individual in the 100m, and two in the 200m.
For longer distances, Athens High School (OH) product Madison Yerke comes to GW after a high school career in both cross country and track on one of her state’s best teams. Athens placed fifth in cross country at the Ohio State Championship meet in 2015 and won four straight conference championships from 2011-14. Yerke was the individual district champion and regional runner up in cross country, where her personal best 5K is 18:39, in 2014 and is a two-time conference champion in the 1600m, which she has run in 5:02.88.
Annapolis, Md. native Rachel Hughen, who runs cross country, sprinter Kennedy Whittington-Cooper (Westchester, N.Y.), distance runners Mikaela Muhall (Mission Viejo, Calif.) and Kelli Stetson (San Diego) and sprinter Gianna Smith (Media, Penn.) should all make an impact on the team in their first years.
The women also get additional depth from Lauren Anderson (Woburn, Mass.), Cassidy Elkins (San Francisco), Halley Brown (Arlington, Tenn.), Lauren Battle (Cleveland), Regan McAllister (Niceville, Fla.), Lesley Fatica (Aurora, Colo.), Brigid Prial (Warwick, N.Y.), Abby Llanos (Danbury, Conn.), Caroline Haskins (Cambridge, Mass.) and Camille Sery-Ble (Florham Park, N.J.).