First-year head coach Andrew Sneed believes his guys have the potential to do well in the NWOC

by: JOHN DENNY - Putnam first-year cross country coach Andrew Sneed prepares to time his charges, as they head out for a run at a late-summer practice.Putnam sports a youthful, but growing cross country program, according to head coach Andrew Sneed, who has taken over for longtime Putnam cross country coach Brent Eggers.

“We’ve got 22 kids out, which is up five or six from last year,” Sneed said, at an August workout. “And we’ve only got four seniors on the team.”

Sneed says he has a good core of boys out, and a couple of athletes with pretty good talent on the girls side.

“I’ve got a core group of five guys who are running together,” he said. “I don’t know if we’ll have a complete varsity team for the girls, but I’ve got a couple of girls I think are top 10 in the league.”

Top prospects on the boys side are seniors Logan Anspach and Joe Venetucci, and juniors Erik and Thomas Korsness, and Matt O’Brien. Anspach, Venetucci and Thomas Korsness were among Putnam’s top four male runners last year.

Sneed says he believes that seniors Kendra Goulter and Monserratt Martinon have the potential to finish in the top 10 by the time the Northwest Oregon Conference district meet rolls around.

Sneed is not new to Putnam. He was the pole vault and javelin coach at the school last spring.

He is a 2006 graduate of Gladstone High School, where he competed in cross country and track and field. He competed in the decathlon and relays for Northwest Nazarene University, where he attended school for three years.

Sneed is currently a student at Portland State University, majoring in public communications, with a minor in advertising and marketing.

Sneed says he believes his boys can finish fourth or higher in the NWOC.

“The varsity guys are in shape,” Sneed said. “If the boys run hard and run together, they have a chance of finishing as high as No. 2.”

Sneed says that Wilsonville, which placed in the top three at state a year ago, is “the team to beat” in NWOC boys cross country. He said he anticipates that Sherwood and St. Helens will also field strong teams.

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