Editor's note: Comments from the following story were collected on Eric Carman's last day as head coach. Andrew Jensen has since taken over the head coaching role, while Carman has accepted a job at Ridgeview High School.
Tyler Anderson posted the best finish by a Madras cross country runner in over a decade last season at the 4A State Championships in Eugene.
That was only his junior season.
Returning as a senior, with all but two runners who placed ahead of him at state having since graduated, Anderson has a chance to place even higher.
"Last year, it was just a matter of learning how to race and learning about racing strategy and keeping his mind focused on where he wants to be," said Eric Carman, who coached the White Buffalos last season, but ceded those duties last week to new coach Andrew Jensen, who will also coach the Madras track and field team next spring.
While Anderson returns as the most accomplished athlete on the boys' team, plenty of others will push him this season.
Julian Badoni returns as a sophomore having recorded the second-best time on the team (18 minutes, 2 seconds) at the Tri-Valley Conference district meet, with seniors Israel Tapia (18:05) and Genesis Lucei (18:15) not far behind.
The boys also added senior Thomas LeClaire, who played football last fall, andmore recently, completed a workhorse track season this past spring in which he ran a wide variety of events.
Of their top seven last season, the Madras boys graduated only one runner, Hunter Onstad.
It also appears that enough girls have come out to field a full varsity team this season, which Carman noted would be a huge improvement over last season if it comes to fruition.
Madras will compete at the Marist Invitational this Saturday at Richardson Park near Eugene.
The Buffs will host the annual Kah-Nee-Ta Invitational Sept. 30, and get a glimpse of a couple TVC foes in Gladstone and Molalla.