Cross country coach reflects on first season
Just finishing her first season as the boys cross country team coach at Quincy High School, Ruth Royer came away pleasantly surprised by not only the athletic ability of the student-athletes, but also their integrity and character.
Royer brought a decade of experience coaching cross country and track at the middle school level to the QHS boys team this season. Even with all her experience, Royer still needed some help learning workouts and how the team operates, which she received from girls head coach Tanja Medrano and boys assistant coach Andrew Schmitt.
“You go at it and you do the very best you can, and then at the end of the season, you kind of reflect,” said Royer.
According to Royer, the senior runners were also helpful in answering any of her questions, especially senior Tyler Wurl, who Royer said she has known since he was about 4 years old. Although she has not known the other runners since childhood, Royer felt she connected well with many of them, calling them “kind and respectful kids.”
Although Royer coached the boys team, she claimed one of her highlights of the season was watching senior Bryn Heikes and junior Jane Kennedy run at the girls state championship in Pasco on Nov. 9.
Royer also highlighted the team’s trip down to Tillamook, Oregon, to compete in the Ultimook Race on Sept. 7, adding, “it was very, very fun and great way to connect as a team.”
Going into next season, Royer wants to be more proactive planning workouts and team activities. She also wants to focus on runners’ individual goals and tracking them more closely.
“I am really excited to see how some of our younger talent continues to progress,” said Royer. “I see a lot of potential in some of the athletes. I also see some really strong leadership skills.”
Above all else, she will be excited to see the team again and spend time with them after a long off-season.
“I won’t get to see these kids maybe until next cross country season again,” said Royer. “That’s kind of sad to me, because they’re really cool kids.”
By Miles King, firstname.lastname@example.org