XC Scouting Report: Cullman Boys

With one of the top returning boys squads in 6A, the Cullman Boys look to improve on their second place sectional and 6th place state finish in 2015.  We caught up with coach Trent Dean to get the scouting report on the Bearcats.

M 5000m	25	Joey Franklin	17:05.13	22
M 5000m	31	Tucker Franey	17:14.34	28
M 5000m	43	Eli Wilhite	17:36.92	37
M 5000m	72	Tucker Adkison	18:08.55	54
M 5000m	73	Jackson Tucker	18:08.69	55
M 5000m	89	Walker Caretti	18:19.55	62
M 5000m	113	Colton Smith	18:40.34	77
M 5000m	159	Abraham Gonzale	19:29.05	--
M 5000m	180	Mitchell Collin	20:00.94	--
M 5000m	186	Dylan Warner	20:08.95	--

How many years have you been coaching high school cross country (and at your current school)? 

5 years (all at Cullman High)

What do you attribute as the main reasons for the success of your program?

I would not consider us to have had much success in regard to the team as far as the expectations that we have, but the mentality of the athletes has drastically improved and their threshold for the amount of work and commitment that is required to be successful is coming around. We are close, but the cultivation of effective team leadership from within is still in need.

What would be the best way to describe your style and philosophy of coaching and working with high school runners?

I utilize the science behind running development, but I strive to apply it practically, especially since these are high school athletes and not elite professional athletes. I also believe strongly in out working your opponents and doing all things right. Being righteous. 

What are your core beliefs in your training plan and workouts for your cross country squads?

Build a strong aerobic base. Make the athletes very strong and aerobically fit. Bring on the anaerobic work at the proper time. Craft the plan for peak performance at the right time.

How many runners do you return from your top 7 from a year ago?


Who is your projected top 7 heading into the cross country season?

We have 3 that have distinguished themselves this summer (Eli Wilhite, Joey Franklin, Tucker Adkison) and a host of others that will be competing for the remaining spots. 

Who are your team captains or leaders and what stands out about them as examples for the rest of their teammates?

As I mentioned previously, we are in need of strong leadership from within. There are some that have the attributes necessary, but need the courage and confidence to do the job. Part of this is my responsibility to help empower them and teach them how to be effective leaders. We are working on this.

Who have you been most impressed or surprised with their improvement and/or fitness from their summer training?

I would not say surprised, but there are definitely a few of my athletes that have made me proud over the summer. Especially the ones that have stepped up their commitment and demonstrated their desire to get to the next level.

Any impactful freshmen or transfers to join the team this season?

No transfers. The boy's team has a couple ninth graders that have the potential to make an impact, but we'll see if they seize the opportunity or not. It will depend on their maturity and how they handle the work.

What are the top invitational meets that your team will be attending this season?

We'll start the season at the Montevallo Twilight. Jesse Owens mid-season.

What will be the biggest obstacle or challenge facing your team this season?

Staying focused from day to day on our goals and training with the proper understanding and purpose. Executing good to great workouts with a very high percentage. 

What will be the biggest reason why your team is successful this season?

They stayed healthy and therefore consistent. They executed a large majority of their workouts in the good to great range. They had the understanding and desire as well as the mental and physical discipline and toughness to execute our team strategy from week to week. They make it happen when it counts.

What is a favorite annual or common pre-season workout or run for your team?

We have certain trademark workouts, but I don't know that I have a favorite per say. I enjoy seeing the work come together. How an athlete's success in one particular workout helps them bridge the gap to success in another particular workout and how it all comes together to help them race the way we want to race at Cullman High.  

What are your top 3 goals for this year's squad?

- develop strong leadership within the team

- ten guys running at their potential come November

- substantial improvement from Jesse Owens' meet to State meet