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It takes commitment to participate in outdoor running events outdoors this time of year.
That's a trait that Starkville High School cross country Caroline Woomer thinks she has with this year's team.
The Yellowjackets open the season today at the Choctaw Relays in Clinton, a new meet that Woomer is looking forward to as a measuring stick.
"We've never done a relay meet for cross country so we're really excited about it," Woomer said. "We will absolutely be better. Our runners from last year have come back. We have a young team anyway and they ran all summer long and they have come back with more mileage than they normally have."
After participating in a pair of summer camps, Woomer believes the squad is "starting out more ahead of the game" than it has in past years.
Starkville has a roster of 50 runners with 35 boys and 15 girls.
Woomer likes the make up of the team.
"Before we'd have about 60 but they all weren't sure if they wanted to be there yet," Woomer said.
Some of the key Jackets are expected to be Joseph MacGown, Kamau Bostic, Ethan Musser, Stuart Woomer, Damian Grady and Aaron Remotigue. Bostic is a returning senior.
Walker and Kate Mattox, Mary Elizabeth Stringer, Abigail Arinder, Shanikua Musser and Anna Jackson are expected to lead the Lady Jackets. Ashely Albritton is a returning senior.