After a strong showing in the 2009 cross-country season, the West Springfield indoor track team is preparing for what head coach Chris Pellegrini said could be an extremely competitive season.
The Patriot District was represented in fine form at the State Cross-country meet in November and with many cross-country runners making the move to indoor track for the winter, Patriot District competition will remain a challenge for the Spartans.
"Our district went No. 1, No. 3 and No. 4 at the State Cross-country meet," Pellegrini said. "Our district is going to be extremely competitive on the distance running side this season."
While many of the district's top teams, such as West Potomac and 2009 Cross-country state champion Lake Braddock, feature former cross-country runners on their rosters, the Spartans will field some of their best on the track team as well.
Stand-out runners Paige Kvartunas, Anna Barber and Alex Watt take to the indoor track and lead the Spartans in distance and relay events.
"Our girls run relays extremely well," he said. "They're going to be very strong this year."
Pellegrini also thinks the stacked rosters will result in some record-breaking performances throughout the season.
"I think [our District] can put out performances at the District meet in February that no one has ever seen in the past 15 to 20 years," he said.
Pellegrini is also anxious to see Alex Watt return to the indoor track. Watt has struggled with injuries, but has since overcome them.
"I'm excited for Alex Watt," he said. "She just had her first season running completely healthy. With another healthy season, she can really tip the scale towards us."
The Spartans also have high hopes for Barber, who Pellegrini said adjusts well from cross-country to indoor track.
"Anna Barber translates well to the track," he said. "She might have a big season."