New goals for the new season
BY JUSTYN DE QUEIROZ ON SEPTEMBER 20, 2013
With the start of the new school year, the cross country team has had a good start of the new season.
“We have changed the culture of the team; in years past cross country was not taken as seriously,” coach Steven Hill said. “We have enforced an attendance policy, and we are making it harder. The kids who are going to be on the team want to be there, so training will be difficult.”
According to Hill and many other runners, cross country isn’t just about running, there is a lot more to it.
“I worked out mainly at home to make myself stronger and worked on my endurance around my neighborhood,” said senior Spencer Steed.
Steed may not be a selected captain of the cross country team, but he is certainly a leader.
“Since I am a senior and trying to be a leader, I try to motivate everyone as much as much as I can,” Steed said. “I also try to push everyone to their max, tell people not to get down on one another and keep each other’s heads up.
Senior captain Rob McCarthy may not be the fastest like Steed but he has been a leader nonetheless and has set a lot of goals for himself in the new season. He has been training as hard as his body can push him to try to bring his 5k time down to less than 20 minutes.
“In the summer when I was in the mountains, I would run the trails in them to make myself better,” said McCarthy.
All the runners of the team have set goals for themselves to help them improve.
“I started off bad this season, but I am pushing myself to improve my times from last year,” sophomore Mary Lisa Sypawka said. Sypawka and her sister, senior Lyda Sypawka, set a goal during the summer to push each other to run even when they were on vacations.
This is only Hill’s second year coaching but he has set goals for the team as a whole. “Obviously our main goal is to make them faster,” Hill said. “We want them to be pushing themselves to be better.”
“Gibbs and I have added longer distance interval training,” said Hill. They have also added a lot of new things to preseason workouts. “I have collaborated with some friends of mine who are exercise enthusiasts who are seeking their masters degrees in athletic certification so I am having them come and do volunteer training for the team,” Hill said. “I have one or two guys coming in on occasion to lend their expertise to training the team.” Hill has done a lot of other things like find different types of terrain in Pitt County to practice on and he spent hours researching training methods of other cross country coaches that have been proved successful.
Cross country is a growing sport in our community. “When they are doing their training it may seem really difficult, but then their payoff is how they feel afterwards and their performance on the field itself,” said Hill.
They will continue to practice hard so they are able to accomplish the goals that they have set for themselves and each other in this new season. They will push each other to do better than the last time, and with will power they will bring home a lot of wins.