Quincy cross country focuses on building and developing
With just four runners currently on the girls roster and nine senior boys graduating last year, the Quincy High School cross country squad is focused on developing and building programs in the new season.
The girls and boys teams returned just two seniors each, Bryn Heikes and Anne Safe for the girls, and Oswaldo Perez and Tyler Wurl for the boys. Girls head coach Tanja Medrano is expecting a big season from Heikes and expects returning junior runner Jane Kennedy to make a return to state.
According to Medrano, Perez has been training all summer and even ran in a marathon. “I think that he is going to have a great season,” she added.
Other than four seniors, the squad is mostly made up of a few younger runners and a lot of freshmen. Some of the freshmen boys are looking good in practice, said Medrano, adding that she is excited to see what they bring this season.
The cross country team doesn’t begin its league schedule until the Apple Ridge Invitational on Sept. 21 in Yakima. However, the entire team competed in the Ultimook Race Invitational on Sept. 7 in Tillamook, Oregon. Perez placed 57th in the 5,000 meter 1A-4A class boys, and Wurl placed 166th in the same race. For the girls, Heikes and Kennedy finished 55th and 56th respectively in the 5,000 meter 1A-4A class race.
The team will run in Farmer-Consumer Awareness Day’s Beat the Beast race as well on Sept. 14.
In just her second season as the girls cross country coach, Medrano has her runners focused on gradually increasing training intensity and peaking at the optimal time of the season.
“We just want to make sure that we get a good build into peaking at the end of the season,” said Medrano.
Last season, some runners ran too much over the summer, or too little, which threw off their timing and peak performance.
Medrano hopes the runners will reach their peak performance near the end of the season around the time of regional competition, which she said will be the toughest of the season.
“That’s the one where it’s, your season is either done or it’s not,” said Medrano. “As long as we build correctly towards it, we should see the races that we want.”
According to Perez, the powerhouse teams on the boys side in the league are Ellensburg, Ephrata and Grandview. He wants to help develop the younger runners so the next few years they can continue to improve. Perez is confident in his teammates this year, even with their youth against some of the league’s best.
“I still want our team to push ourselves to beat them, because anything can happen,” said Perez.
The boys squad will have to rely heavily on Perez and other leadership; their coach, Ruth Royer was hired just about two weeks ago. Royer previously coached a middle school team as recently as 10 years ago.
In addition to building around the talent and leadership of the boys team, Royer wants to help each runner achieve his or her best. “The biggest thing that I would really like to focus on is really helping each individual reach their own individual potential,” said Royer.
By Miles King, email@example.com