Flippo eager to lead, even if she has to follow
Talented freshman class gives senior a solid supporting cast
As the only returning runner on the Lansing High girls cross country team, senior Lori Flippo is expected to be a leader.
At the same time, Flippo knows part of her role as a team captain will be to follow. That much is unavoidable because of the number of talented new runners in the program this fall.
"I'm real excited because I'll have more competition," she said. "I'll have somebody to pace myself with, and I'll have more people to compete with who will push me harder."
Not only will Flippo be pushed, but she'll also likely be the No. 3, 4 or 5 runner on the team. Two freshmen - Abbey Lozenski and Lauren Jaqua - already have emerged as the team's two fastest girls.
"They're up with the boys, and they're in front of most of the boys," Flippo said. "They're what I'm looking to."
Sophomore Amanda Mitchell is another newcomer expected to make an instant impact. She already is a proven runner after helping the 1,600-meter relay team qualify for the state track meet as a freshman.
Other runners who could crack the varsity top seven include sophomores Mallory Barnhouse, Andrea Shanks, Sandy Collier, Emilee Taylor and McKenna Hall.
Flippo said she is impressed with all of the newcomers so far.
"All of the girls have the drive to do it, and none of them have been out here before," Flippo said. "They're all working hard. They're amazing. I'm impressed with the whole team.
"We definitely have the potential to go all the way (to state). Once we get these first couple weeks in, the hardest part, then we're going to do really good. It's going to be a good season."
As important as Lansing's newcomers will be, LHS coach Errol Logue said just how far the Lions go ultimately will be determined by Flippo.
"She's going to have two or three girls on this team that can beat her, but she's the key," said Logue, who is beginning his 38th season at LHS. "If she can be No. 4 or No. 5 and run as well as she did last year, then that's the key."