Cross-country team wraps up season


Cross country team.

Carrie Fox, Staff Writer

Mr. Yingling, head coach of the cross-country team, and Mr. Jacob, co-head coach, have worked hard to train and prepare their runners for Mountain League championships, district championships, and other races that they have attended this season. The team has a total of eighteen runners; six varsity girls, six varsity boys, and six junior high runners. The team has competed in four meets, two invitational races, Mountain League championships and district championships. In the Mountain League, they compete against 6 other schools which include, Penns Valley, Bellefonte, Tyrone, Hollidaysburg, Bald Eagle, Philipsburg. At districts they race DuBois, Punxsutawney, St. Marys, Brookville, and Bradford.

Asked who has improved the most this season, Mr. Yingling responds: “To be honest, I can’t really pick out a single person. All the athletes who were on the team last year have improved. However, half the team is brand new this year and they have all been steadily improving throughout the season. I’m very proud of all of them.”

What is your training strategy? “We like to slowly build our athletes’ endurance by adding a little extra mileage each week. We also like to incorporate a variety of workouts of varying intensity each week, and also treat each race each week as a tough workout that we can learn from. To be successful in cross country, an athlete needs to be able to run for long distances while also being able to incorporate speed at certain points in the race.  We try to improve on both of these as the season progresses,” Mr. Yingling states.

Mr. Yingling said his assistant coach Mr. Jacob brings a lot of coaching experience to the team. “He used to be in charge of both the cross country and track programs, and has a lot of personal racing experience. He is also a great recruiter,” Mr. Yingling remarks.

How long is a cross country course? Mr. Yingling explains that most cross-country courses are between 3 and 3.25 miles.

The cross-country team is always looking for new members, said Mr. Yingling. “Anyone who is interested in joining should come talk to me or Mr. Jacob, or join us for some of our pre-track indoor winter workouts because they are fun and introduces new athletes to the sport in a very laid-back manner,” he added.