White Pigeon runners have that family atmosphere for success

WHITE PIGEON —Expectations are high this cross country season in White Pigeon where veteran coach Peter Mestelle returns all his letter winners from last fall.
White Pigeon’s boys team finished second in the BCS League’s All-Blue Division in 2016, while the Lady Chiefs were hampered by not having the required five runners all season to score as a team.
Returning for the White Pigeon boys’ team are Kobe Yoder, Bruno Martinez, Evan Atherton, Paul Schelstraete, Elijah Carr, Noah Krull, Cole Shafer and Blaine Shafer.
Three newcomers join the Chiefs’ roster in Stone Kemp, Zack Hagen and Nate Weber.
“Stone, Zack and Nate have all been very good in practice so far,” Mestelle said.
Returning letter winners for the White Pigeon girls’ team include Angela Kiley and Audrey Baker.
“Angela and Audrey should improve a great deal this year,” Mestelle said.
Multi-sport start Claycee West, a sophomore, has added cross country to her schedule this fall.
“Claycee is a great athlete and has been impressive in our practices and early meets,” Mestelle said.
Other key runners for the Lady Chiefs include Shanna Hagner and Aurora Saddison.
“Shanna and Aurora have been working her hard and should do very well,” Mestelle said.
Expectations are high for White Pigeon’s boys’ squad.
“Our boys should win conference and have a very good chance to go to state as a team. The girls should have several contending for state, especially Audrey and Claycee,” Mestelle said.
The biggest keys are staying healthy and the seniors stepping up to lead by example.
“Centreville boys’ team will be tough to beat but I believe the girls title is up in the air,” Mestelle said.
“Our team has the family feel about it. Everyone supports one another and encourages their teammates.”
White Pigeon has picked up another girls runner with the arrival of foreign exchange student Clara Varela from Spain.
“Clara has improved a great deal in the short time she has been with us. Her father runs marathons so she comes from a running background,” Mestelle said.
Also on the Lady Chiefs roster is Cheyanne Vanderwall.
Scott Hassinger can be reached at 279-7488 ext. 25 or sports@threeriversnews.com.

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