Corunna have been one of the top teams in the state over the last number of years.
It is great for our school and our program to get honored for the hard work that we put in.
The Corunna squad had a great season - can you take us through some of the highlights.
We tend to train pretty hard through September and round into racing form in October. We did exactly that this year as we had a great October by winning our conference, county, Greater Lansing Invitational and Regional meets. The Regional meet was our high point as we went 1, 2, 3, 5 and 16 to capture the championship with 27 points. We were unable to keep the momentum going at the state meet, but we still finished 6th in a deep field.
We have two goals: be the best you and help others be the best they can be. If we accomplish those things then it is a tremendous success. We run the PAAVO program - we build a base all summer and into the first couple of weeks of the season. We purposely have a stretch with no meets when we introduce intervals to retrain the body to race faster. This is a shock that cannot be done while also doing races. We later have another stretch with no races when we introduce some speed workouts on the track to give the runners that last kick or extra gear. The final weeks of the season are spent making sure the body and mind are healthy and fresh. We reserve the all-out days for racing. We try to mitigate the emotional drain as well and just have fun reaping the rewards of the hard training.
Who were your coaching mentors that inspired you? What are some of the things that you took from them that you've implemented into your own coaching?
I was blessed to learn from two amazing men in John Fattal and Gordie Aldrich when I was hired at Corunna. They truly loved the sport and had incredible passion. They did it the right way. There were no shortcuts, no 'almost good enough'. They went all in and I respect that and try to implement that in my own coaching.
What advice would you give to a young coach who is new to high school cross country?
Do not make winning races the goal. Celebrate every kid's pr's. Make sure to have time for the kids to share their stories about races and practice runs. It is amazing how much you can learn from a kid telling about their race / run. You feel like you were there and it helps the rest of the team make better connections and it gives everyone a voice. Every kid is an expert on what happened on their run. Love the journey.