Monday, September 5, 2011

First XC Meet of the Season

Coaching can be serious business
It started off well. It ended well. Whew.

The first meet of the year can be scary. Though I carry a full contingent of about four dozen kids, many are new to the sport as well as the team. The grade level ranges from 6th  to seniors, adding the extra challenge of keeping workouts and expectations appropriate for the age and talent of each runner. Some of the runners are veterans, focused in their roles as outstanding students and athletes. Others. . .well, there appears to be a social aspect and sense of team that draws them in. And, that's okay.

The Eagle Invitational, held Sept 3 in the hills outside the hamlet of Rocky Mount, Virgina, is a small, yet challenging meet. Hosted by Franklin County High School, which boasts a roster of nearly 65 kids, this school never fails to draw top runners to the line. This year was no different.

Middle Schoolers take to the line
The middle schoolers were sent out on their 3K run. I had but 3 girls and 3 guys in this event held on a holiday weekend. However, despite the novelty of racing for all but one runner, the youth ran with Janaye Wagner, Emma Nash, and Emily Hill taking the 3rd, 6th, and 7th positions, respectively. Andre Deneault, Greyson Wooldridge and Reese Brooks faired well with running into 4th, 5th, and 8th place.

Abby Quigg and Rebecca Roberts

Of course, the strength of a team resides in the depth of the roster. The JV and varsity girls demonstrated the point. Though Franklin County raced a girl who would have taken 5th place in the guys race, the LCA girls offered an unbeatable combination. Abby Quigg, Rebecca and Caroline Roberts, Jamie Maule, and Cassidy Williams swept places 2-6th to grab the title at this quad invite. Though the Roberts sisters and Ms. Williams are in their first season, they added the necessary depth to the squad.

Trey Fisher en route to victory
The men's race was equally impressive. LCA runner, Trey Fisher, is a talented runner with keen intensity. After struggling over the years with over-use injuries, he has been training strong and risen to new levels. Biding his time in the early mile, Trey began to pull away by the second mile, a rigorous climb leading to nearly a mile of single track through the forest. By the time he hit the last half mile, his lead was unquestioned. He posted a 17:40 on a very tough 5K course and claimed the crown. His teammates, new comers William Miller (a track sprint specialist), Ike Podell, and Stephen Hardy took 5th, 9th, and 15th position. Veteran runner and co-captian, senior Regan Brooks took the 14th spot. Together, the men claimed second  place as a team.

The fun after the run
Looks like the new kids are the added links to the chain that will anchor the team.

Stay tuned for more race reports of the Liberty Christian Academy Cross Country team. It's sure to be a memorable season.

1 comment:

Rick Gray said...

What a way to open the year. I know your team consists of both experienced and new runners, but I think it is amazing how your new runners are alrealdy beginning to make a nice rounded team. Your new runners are certainly adding strength. I love the picture of you being so serious. That is so you in the moment! Congratulations on excellent runs across the board and I know you team shined from within.