The numbers are up for the Lynnwood cross country teams.
Thirty-six runners are out, making the 2013 Royals the biggest team in six years.
While many are newcomers to the team, Lynnwood returns some promising talent.
First-year head coach Stephanie Tastad especially likes the way the girls squad is shaping up.
Sophomore Mikayla Pivec placed 19th last season as a freshman. Joining Pivec is her younger sister Malia Pivec.
The older Pivec comes into the season stronger.
“She’s got the knowledge now,” said Tastad, who was an assistant coach at Lynnwood last year. “She seems a little more veteran. She’s taking a leadership position with the team, even though there are seniors there.”
Other top returns on the girls’ side include Ashtin Markowski, Madison Bryson-Eyer and Alexa Schroeder.
“I think this year our girls are just going to have a little more depth,” Tastad said. “They did really well on their summer workouts. They are coming in stronger.”
The boys team lost five of their top seven runners from a year ago but does return junior Tyler McArthur.
“We’re looking for big things from him,” Tastad said. “He’s strong as always.”
Senior Kaleb Decker is the other key returner.
“It’s a rebuilding year for our boys,” said Tastad, who added that by the end of the year the team should be in good shape.
“With the leadership and the amount of kids we have coming in as new freshmen, the boys team is going to hold their own later in the season,” Tastad said. “If they step up the way they should, I think they can be pretty strong next year.’