Catching up to top speeds motivates runners

Varsity members, including Shelley Parat, ran as JV at the Sycamore Invitational, taking first place.

By Hector Cervantes, Perspectives Editor

Getting faster is one of the goals the girls cross-country has as the season progresses.

“I am pleased to see the team learning how to work together in both practices and meets. I have seen very positive improvements in the new girls and the experienced runners are getting their speed back,” head varsity coach Bob Maxson said.

Maxson’s philosophy for coaching comes with positive encouragement and high expectations.

Practice consists of a daily run of four to eight miles. The team runs different courses each day at a different speed.

“I like how everybody at practice is hard working and that they are trying to get better,” sophomore Maddie Brotnow said.

A cross-country race consists of three miles. Maxson has different strategies for mentally preparing the runners.

“There are different approaches I take to encourage my team. Each runner needs something different. Some need to be pushed and some need to be left alone,” Maxson said.

Maxson notes that mental toughness is something the girls need to overcome.

“I want the team to understand how mental this sport is and how tough they need to be mentally to push through the discomfort associated with running very fast for three miles,” Maxson said.

In order to overcome mental toughness, the team has set goals.

At the start of the year we set team goals, some not related to running. The girls work with coaches for individual goals throughout the year. The goal this year is to have each girl running their best and the the team ready to advance to the next year together. There are many team goals about caring about team bonding that are present also,” Maxson said.

Besides training, the team have come together by boosting their team morale. A memorable experience was when the team went to Lorado Taft over the summer.

“At Lorado Taft we did hard workouts and we all spent a lot of time talking to one another as a team,” Brotnow said.

Since Maxson’s retired he keeps in touch with the girls by having a Facebook group and a Google Classroom.

“I would want to have a program the girls and their parents appreciate,” Maxson said.