DALLAS -- If you are a Dallas High School student who expects to have a little free time on your hands this fall, cross country coach Monique Lankheet would like to talk.
"We are in such a big rebuilding mode," Lankheet said of the upcoming 2008 season. "We graduated so many seniors last year. We are struggling to put together a boys team in particular. We have four right now. The girls are doing better. We have 10. We are going to be doing some big, heavy recruiting when school starts.
"I think I've only had one other year where we had more girls than boys. It's definitely not the norm. What I like about this team so far is they seem to be very cohesive. They really get along, and there's not a lot of complaining."
The team's top returning runner is junior Dakota Magden.
"She's looking good," said Lankheet, starting her 15th season at Dallas. "She's running a little better than she did last year. She trained a little more this summer."
Stacia Wetter and Nicholle Howden also return from last season, and newcomer Shady Walton has shown promise.
Vicki Peterson was on the team last season but suffered a broken foot during the summer. She will serve as the team's manager initially and hopes to compete later in the season.
Dylan Hainsworth is expected to be the top runner for the boys team.
"He's worked hard all summer," Lankheet said. "He's definitely fired up."
Dustin Lytle will perform a little double-duty during the fall, playing soccer and running cross country.
"We're still looking for people to come out throughout the first week of school," Lankheet said. "People think it's going to be really hard. Anyone who comes out and tries it for a week ... I feel confident they'll stay. We'll even treat them to ice cream on Friday."
Head coach: Monique Lankheet (15th year)
Assistants: Betsy Seth, Stacie Wells
2007 finish: Boys were fourth in the MWC meet, girls were seventh
Returning runners: Dylan Hainsworth, Dakota Magden, Stacia Wetter, Nicholle Howden