Michigan XC Scouting Reports - Northville Girls

We pick up our scouting report series with Division 1 Power, Northville. The 2013 State Champs return their entire top five from the 2014 squad that placed third. With Lexa Barrott and Cayla Eckenroth leading the way, the Northville girls have their eyes set high this season.

Quick Info

Division : D1

2014 State Place: 3rd

Coach: Nancy Smith

Top Returnees from 2014 XC Season (5K Times)

1) Lexa Barrott17:55.10
2) Cayla Eckenroth17:59.70
3) Hailey Harris18:32.20
4) Emma Herrmann18:46.20
5) Rachel Zimmer19:37.00
Average Time: 18:34.04 Total Time: 1:32:50.20 1-5 Split: 1:41.90
6) Emma Smith19:42.70
7) Taylor Gattoni20:01.00

Top Returning 3200m Times from 2015 Outdoor Season

1) Lexa Barrott10:37.52
2) Cayla Eckenroth10:42.72
3) Emma Herrmann11:13.30
4) Ana Barrott11:22.40
5) Rachel Zimmer11:29.80
Average Time: 11:05.15 Total Time: 55:25.74 1-5 Split: 52.28

Top Returning 1600m Times from 2015 Outdoor Season

1) Lexa Barrott4:55.23
2) Ana Barrott5:13.08
3) Cayla Eckenroth5:18.72
4) Emma Herrmann5:23.68
5) Rachel Zimmer5:36.70
Average Time: 5:17.48 Total Time: 26:27.41 1-5 Split: 41.47
6) Taylor Gattoni5:41.23
7) Helena Bryans5:58.74

Q&A With Coach Smith

Milesplit MI: Your team returns the entire top squad from the third place squad a year ago - with that being said, what are your goals for the season?

Coach Smith: First off we need to stay healthy which is our number 1 goal to be successful. If we can stay healthy we will be very competitive in the big meets this year. We also need to get our pack to run within 45 seconds of each other, which was a key to our success in 2013. Once we accomplish that we hope to win the conference, regional and challenge for the state title again this year.

Milesplit MI: Northville was also sixth a year ago at NXN Midwest - do you see Portland being a possibility this year?

Coach Smith: Of course the girls would love this, they run as the NXC running club and they have been to the NXN Midwest the past two years. Last year we had a few injuries that they ran through and their hopes are to make it to Portland by finishing in the top 2 or getting wild card bid.

Milesplit MI: What meets will your team be focusing on this season outside of the state meet?

Coach Smith: Since we have great depth my top runners do not need to focus on dual meets as we can let other runners on our team run varsity and still be successful. We will focus on Spartan Invite, Jackson, Legend and Portage where we will see similar competition to the state meet. The girls love these meets, as they seem to run their best when there is competition. It also allows us to work on our pack running which will be crucial as the season progresses.

Milesplit MI: What does summer training look like for Northville?

Coach Smith: My girls meet five times a week and work on building up their base mileage. We also do strength and conditioning 2X a week with Total Performance which our athletic department brings in to work with any team that is interested. Also this summer we have been swimming 3X a week to increase their cardio system this gives them another workout that does not involve the pounding on their legs. Their goal is to come into the season strong and healthy and ready to handle the season.

Milesplit MI: What are some staple workouts your team does throughout the season?

Coach Smith: Some of the teams staple workouts include Aerobic Fitness about every other week. This is a tempo style workout that works on running even miles. I got this workout many years ago at MITCA conference. We start out doing 5 miles and by the end of the year my top athletes do 7 miles. We also do 6 x 1000 on our home course throughout the season with the ultimate goal by Regionals and States to get the 1000 done in 3:15 to 3:30 with 5 minutes rest between. We also do one long run a week up to 8 miles. Another staple workout we did in 2013 that we will do again this year is to go to the Arb in Ann Arbor and run the hill. This was a key workout in 2013. As the season progresses we shorten our runs and do some speed work towards the championship part of our season and reduce our mileage.

Milesplit MI: Lexa Barrott and Cayla Eckenroth both are top runners in the state - what are the dynamics between those two runners who both compete on such a high level?

Coach Smith: Lexa and Cayla get along great and push each other to be the best they can be. They are both extremely competitive and push each other in big meets.

Milesplit MI: Do you foresee any impact freshman on the team to add onto the depth?

Coach Smith: Yes, Olivia Harp will be a freshman who will impact our top 7. She had a good middle school career and has the workout ethic that is comparable to our top runners. She is so determined and driven. Another addition who is not a freshman but who is doing cross-country for the 1st time is Ana Barrott, who is the younger sister of Lexa who will be a sophomore. She used to swim but had a lot of success in track. She is a competitive person and I see her excelling from the start.

Milesplit MI: I noticed the team recently put on a fundraiser where you ran all night - tell us about that. What was the goal of the fundraiser? Was it a success?

Coach Smith: In the past we have done car washes during the summer and this year we decided to do a 12 hour relay where the girls made teams of 6 runners and alumni came back and made teams. They ran, jogged and walked throughout the night with one girl form each team running at a time. We decided we would raise money for the team and also give ½ of the money raised to University of Michigan Cancer and the Cancer Consortium. Cancer has affected many of our running families over the last years so we wanted to give back. It was a huge success and we have raised close to 3000.00 which we will be donating. It was a great time and lots of team bonding happened. We had such great support from our athletes, parents, families, friends, alumni and the community.

Milesplit MI: Compare this group you have this year to your team two years back that won the state title? In what ways are they similar? In what ways are they different?

Coach Smith: This team is very similar to the 2013 team. First off three of them return from the 2013 state team and have experience in what is takes to win it. They include Lexa Barrott, Cayla Eckenroth and Emma Herrmann. Lexa and Emma were sophomores and Cayla was a freshman. They remember the thrill of realizing they won it and how all the hard work paid off in the end. We also have experience from Hailey Harris who was all-state last year and Rachel Zimmer who ran last year as a freshman. They have the same drive and desire to try and bring it home again. The one difference we have is the 2013 team was a great pack running team with our top 5 being only about 35 seconds apart. This is one thing we need to work at again this year.

Follow Michigan Milesplit on Social Media!