2022 Kickoff: Edwardsburg cross country preview

Published 11:06 am Sunday, September 18, 2022

(Editor’s note: The Edwardsburg cross country preview was inadvertently left out of the 2022 Kickoff fall sports preview section that came out Saturday (Sept. 18). Photos of both the boys and girls teams appear in the special section)



Kim Bartz, Caryn Fish


Years coaching sport at current school:

Second year at Edwardsburg.


Last year’s record/place in conference:

Conference finish: boys seventh-place, girls fourth-place Wolverine Conference


Key starters lost:

Girls lost Charlie Drew, Carlee Brown; boys lost Finn Divan


Key returning lettermen:

Girls: Claire Ritchey, Abby Hess, Macy Andress; boys: Will Leman, Maguire Johnson, Jon Leith, Mark Welsch


Top newcomers:

Girls: Piper Bryant, Liyah Worthington; boys: George Schupam, Jaden Gregory, Jack Bell, Dane Bailey, Mark Stefaniak

The Edwardsburg girls cross country team consists of Macy Andress, Piper Byrant, Lauryn Carroll, Taylor Gabelman, Abby Hess, Izzie Jaronik, Erin Letter, Julia Lewis, Claire Ritchey, Ava Russell, Mali Szalai, Liyah Worthington and Coach Kim Bartz. (Photo courtesy Derby Photography)


Both teams have supportive and knowledgeable returning upperclassmen. New and returning members of both squads approach practices with enthusiasm and step up to the challenges and expectations of their coaches. Our teams have melded together as a cohesive group with team building opportunities at local parks. Team members celebrate the accomplishments of each other and push each other to get better.



As our program grows, incoming freshmen are often surprised by both the competitiveness and the intensity of high school athletics. There is a fast learning curve prior to a first meet. I wouldn’t necessarily classify this as a weakness though. Our newer members thrive on the competition and also the pursuit of achieving both individual and team goals.

Other than winning all your games, division or conference championships and making the state playoffs, what other team goals do you set?

We want to have a team that runs deep. Injuries are bound to happen and the team needs all members to be ready to step in and keep our team competitive.

This year we have set up a point system for runners to work towards earning a varsity letter. It’s not just about our top seven finishers … we are encouraging goal times for every individual to achieve in an effort to be ready to compete as a team during each meet.


How do you think your players handle the highs and lows of winning and losing, and how do you coach that?

As individuals and a team, Edwardsburg cross country sets goals for each meet. As coaches, we want our athletes to initially set goals and then we talk with each athlete to determine if goals are achievable and realistic. We feel our athletes understand the training and improvement process as it evolves throughout the season. This allows them to celebrate their success and continue to work toward a future goal.


What has the team improved on most during the offseason?

After completing our first invite at Niles on Aug. 19, we were able to see the benefits of summer conditioning. Athletes ran both together and individually logging summer miles. Many of Edwardsburg’s runners ran close to their 2021 Season Personal Record during the Niles Stampede.