Kirk Zink finds himself in a bit of a unique situation heading into this year’s cross-country season.

The Hillsboro-Central Valley head coach has numbers – nearly 35 students are out between the boys and girls squads – but the team has no seniors.

However, Zink thinks his boys squad could be among the top teams in the state once again despite graduating three seniors from last year’s Class B runner-up squad.

“We have talent,” he said. “But we just don’t have the older veteran depth that we’ve had in the past.”

The Burros will rely heavily on four juniors – John Kaldor, Henry Nelson, Simon Mau and Jacob Wright – for depth this season. 

But sophomore Christian Brist, who took sixth at the state meet and won the Class B East regional in Cooperstown, should be a reliable top-10 finisher at meets this year. 

“Christian has legit natural talent,” Zink said. “But he works as hard or harder than anyone else.”

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