The Golden Boy and a Golden Season

David Martin, Staff Writer

    The Boilermakers had an exceptional cross country season this past fall, despite losing four key seniors. “A blend of leadership from the seniors and youth,” said Coach Tony Swafford, emphasizing the team’s strengths. “The senior boys kept this team together. This is the best team I’ve ever had this past six years being a coach. Quite possibly one of the best boys team of all time.” This year’s accomplishments included a third place conference finish, winning four invitationals – two invites in which the program has never won before – along with another dominant performance for a ninth straight All-City win.  

    The team was led by senior and University of Tennessee-Martin commit, Lenny “The Golden Boy” Baumann. Baumann ended up running the second fastest time in the school’s history at a scorching 15:26 at the State meet held at Detweiller Park in Peoria, Illinois, falling just four seconds short of the school record of 15:22. “I did a great amount of summer training, which consisted of base mileage” Baumann said. “After my success last year, it motivated me to make it back to state and to do even better.”

    The future is looking very bright for the Boilers. They’re only losing Baumann and Joaquin, but they were two important runners for the team. But Swafford says, “We have a lot of strong youth runners, which are mainly underclassmen. We’re in a pretty good situation I’d say.” Baumann adds, “Mark Pickering will be a key runner for the team next year. I believe he will do a great job leading them and setting a good example for the others.” Swafford and the young Boilermakers strive to keep making improvements and to go out with a bang.