“I would say everybody’s gunning for us in league,” said Nishiyama, whose biggest problem is likely getting a stellar group of athletes all on the same course at the same time.
Andrea Kropp, an All-Area and Division IV All-State selection last year in her first season of cross-country, is a stellar swimmer who will have to divide her time between cross-country meets and college visits. Nishiyama said Kropp should make all the league meets and be good for every race past the first half of the season.
Sophomore Katie Johnson, a returning all-league runner, is also an Olympic Developmental soccer player who will miss some meets.
“One’s a swimmer and one’s a soccer player,” Nishiyama said. “We’re just lucky to have them for cross-country.”
Nishiyama’s biggest loss was that of the graduated Erin Hartwig, the team’s No. 2 runner and team captain. Nishiyama expects senior Emily Brown to fill that void. Brown, along with junior Paige Conti, are both softball players coached by Nishiyama in the spring. Together with sophomore Stephanie Vargas, they round out the top-five holdovers from last year.
“We have question marks,” said Nishiyama, who added that despite any questions his team is still striving to repeat as league champs and reach state once more. “If we’re healthy and everybody’s there, we’ll be good. Potentially, we could be pretty good.”
Michael Roffina’s second year back at the helm of Flintridge Prep will be the last for Rebels senior frontrunner Dot Silverman.