Our team captains this year are seniors Brayden Enz, Owen Fink, Hunter Wakefield, Tim Wilson, junior Ethan Goddard, and sophomore Jake Shepherd. Our captains this year are a great group of returning varsity runners, junior varsity runners, and guys who just do things right and show a great example for the rest of the team.
8. Who have you been most impressed or surprised with their improvement and/or fitness from their summer training?
I've been very happy with the progression our returners have made as a whole, but one person that has stood out is Owen Fink. Owen was sidelined the entire track season with an injury that took a long time to gradually come back from. He was very meticulous in doing things right, and he's now gone from a solid junior varsity runner to one of our top 3-4 guys in workouts and our first meet. He's a great example of what training smart will do when it's done right. Nyc Sigmon and Ethan Goddard are probably our most fit guys right now, and are impressing me day in and day out.
9. Any impactful freshmen or transfers to join the team this season?
We have our largest group of freshmen that we've ever had, at 24. Sam Crook and Kevin Rostam have been leading that group, but there are a lot of newcomers that are starting to get really fit and are handling workouts well.
10. What are the top invitational meets that your team will be attending this season?
We have a great meet schedule, but our biggest meets before the championship season (HCC, IHSAA tournament) are the State Preview meet on September 2 which we added for the first time, as well as the Ben Davis Invitational on September 9 and the Golden Bear Invitational on September 23. Those are meets with big fields and also on courses that we'll run on in the IHSAA tournament, so it's nice to get a feel of courses like that early on.
11. What will be the biggest obstacle or challenge facing your team this season?
So far, having so many kids on the roster (65 total) has created a bit of a challenge in keeping everything individualized, but it's gone very well. We have a large spectrum of athletes, with some looking to run well under 16 minutes for 5k, and some trying to break 30 minutes. It's a lot of fun, and the guys are very encouraging to each other, regardless of ability.
12. What will be the biggest reason why your team is successful this season?
Our success will be dependent upon how well our guys can stay healthy and keep each other accountable throughout the season. We compete in the best part of Indiana, and we have to take advantage of every opportunity we can outside of practice to make sure we're as ready as we can be - because if we don't, another team around here will. I stress the little things over and over to our runners because it's vital.
13. What is a favorite annual or common pre-season workout or run for your team?
We do a 4k time trial in my neighborhood at the end of the summer, followed by pancakes made by our wonderful parent group. Our top seven guys at the time draft the rest of the team behind closed doors and we score it like a meet, with the winners getting pancakes first. It's a lot of fun and brings the whole team together really well as we head into the school year.
14. What is a favorite annual or common mid-season workout for your team?
Once meets start, we keep it pretty simple in terms of our approach in workouts. I'll give out random awards here and there for guys who have the smallest gap in intervals, or just who sticks out the most and has made a big jump over the course of the season. However, the team's favorite workout that we do in late September / early October is the "Michigan," which includes intervals on the track (1600m, 1200m, 800m, 400m for varsity, or 1200m, 1000m, 600m, 400m for JV) with tempo 1200's or 1600's between each.
15. What is a favorite annual or common championship season or end-of-season workout for your team?
We always end our season with a 1600m time trial on the track so that the guys can see how fast they can run a middle distance event off of longer, 5k training. We do our JV time trial a few days after the HCC meet, and the varsity time trial a few days after the State meet.
16. What are your top 3 goals for this year's squad?
1. Get back to the State meet and try to make it on the podium (top 5).
2. Have our best JV meet of the season at the HCC meet on September 30.
3. Make a run at the HCC championship and defend our County, Sectional, and Regional titles from last year.