While the Stanfield High School cross country team may not have had a strong performance in Elgin Friday, the team has strength in numbers.

Coach Blaine Braithwaite said several of his runners, girls and boys, finished in the middle of the pack, with a top boys time of around 21 minutes and 24:50 for the girls for the 5K. Without official times given at the meet, Braithwaite doesn’t have concrete numbers to work with but has an idea where improvement is needed.

“We’ve got a lot of work to do,” Braithwaite said. “We’re a really young team.”

The team has its first full girls team since 2001 and a full boys team again this year, both reasons for excitement for Braithwaite. He would like his runners to start pacing themselves by running year round, though.

“I just have to get them to a point where they’re willing to run in the off-season,” he said.

Braithwaite said earlier in the week he was expecting the meet to act as a “jumping off point” to the season.

“It was a little bit of a wake-up call for us,” he said. “We’re hoping to be able to move up a bit.”

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