WHEN A PROGRAM TAKES THAT NEXT BIG STEP, IT IS ALWAYS NOTICED. KING'S RIDGE CROSS COUNTRY EXPERIENCED THAT IN 2020.
Led by third-year coach Karen Coleman, the Tigers' cross country program advanced the boys team to the GHSA State Meet for the first time ever and also sent some individual girl runners.
A banner year for the Tigers.
"The kids put a lot of work in," Coleman said. "We did 6 a.m. workouts four times a week. They all came, gelled together, put the work in and we saw the results. To be successful you really have to be able to fight the mental part. I always tell the kids you can talk yourself out of any race. You have to be able to dig deep down for that last mile."
The Tigers dug deep, especially Isaac Martin. Martin finished 22nd overall with a time of 18:00.21, followed by Carr Gianturco, Evan Danyo, Marshall Hene, Mason Kiser, Case McGruder, and Nicholas Christopher. The team finished 26th overall with 658 points.
"I was super proud of them, a super fun day," Coleman said.
For the girls, Rachel and Emma Smith both advanced to the GHSA State Cross Country Meet and finished 50th and 73rd overall, respectively.
As Coleman heads into year four of guiding the cross country program, you can tell there's excitement in her voice. The program is getting "bigger and bigger every year" and teaching life lessons with every step taken.
"I feel like athletics teaches them a lot of things," Coleman said. "How to compete, how to have drive and really how to be successful, organized and work well in a group."