As Ashland head cross country coach Ransom Gardiner starts his first season as the coach, he continues to work on finding kids who can join his team.

The team returns now-senior Paige Harris, the third-place finisher at last year’s 1A State Cross Country Meet. She’s working her way back from an injury, but could be fully up to speed by the later portion of the season Gardiner said.

On the boys side, the team looks potentially strong.

Gardiner is also excited about his boys team, though he is also working to get a couple more guys on the team.

No matter how things shake out this season, Gardiner said he would like to help his athletes understand that hard work pays off and that dedication is helpful.

“I’d like to just show them that if you put in hard work it really pays off,” Gardiner said.

On the running side, Gardiner hopes to help develop a culture of running where running long distance has always been kind of taboo, Gardiner said.

“I’d kind of like to develop some kind of running culture, where people actually want to go out for cross country and track,” Gardiner said.