Alabama Runners: Your team won 3A last year and has now dropped to the 1A/2A classification. Has this had any effect on the team (any big fish small pond syndrome)? What are their attitudes like coming in to the season?
Coach Weatherill: Time will tell. I've been out of town for graduate school all summer, but this has been the case for the past 4 years, and I think we've had good team leaders who have worked to get everyone focused at the right time. I know we have some good leaders on this year's team. And the girls really seem to get along, which I know isn't the case everywhere. We don't talk a lot about big fish or small ponds. We're trying to be the best we can be... some years that's challenging the best programs in the state and the region, other years that's winning our classification. But, we try to concentrate on our approach. In the grand scheme of things, process is what matters. If we can do that, the results often take care of themselves. With that being said, we'll miss the really healthy rivalries we've had with our 3A competitors, but look forward to developing new relationships.
Alabama Runners: How does the team look?
Coach Weatherill: Again, time will tell. We had some girls who had really good track seasons, and we've got good leadership. I've had some of these girls for several years now, and I love their loyalty. Cross country's not easy; it's not a commitment of convenience, and in the past, we've had some girls decide it's not for them. The girls I have now don't bat an eye. No one individual is bigger than the group. Their selflessness is contagious. I think that's what make them so tough. Time will tell how fast we are, but I have a pretty good idea how tough we are.
Alabama Runners: Any new additions or surprises?
Coach Weatherill: We've got a couple of girls who have been chomping at the bit to get out there. Some have been developing well over the past year or two, so I won't be surprised when they're running with our Varsity. That might be what I'm most excited about, it seems like each year we're successful, someone steps up. It may seem like a surprise to some people, but it's a process that starts months or years away. I think any holes we might have will be quickly patched with some of the "new" faces.
Alabama Runners: What are your goals or key meets?
Coach Weatherill: Every meet on our schedule serves a purpose. The opening home meet is to get a baseline. Chickasaw is to get comfortable with the state course, and compare where we are then to where we were a year ago (it's the one race we've run every season of my ten years at MA). We had a great experience at Scottsboro last year and ran a tight race with Mountain Brook and Scottsboro, so we look forward to a competitive race there. We'll run a home meet at Gateway Park to get used to our sectional course, then head to Disney for our out of region meet (we try to take one each season). That'll be a a big meet for us, because we don't travel/race every weekend, and we want to make the most of our opportunity. The Tiger Classic is another really familiar setting for our kids, so we'll look to tune things up there before we run sectionals. Hopefully, if we've concentrated on our approach, the state meet takes care of itself. The ultimate goal is to get the kids to see that the collective process is what matters. Positive results come from process (too many coaches tend to see it the other way around).
|1) Taylor Gerard||18:52.19|
|2) Maggie Chambers||19:46.84|
|3) Erin Budny||20:12.83|
|4) Krisie Stakely||20:13.14|
|5) Drake Mcgowin||20:20.68|
|Average Time: 19:53.14 -- Total Time: 1:39:25.68 -- 1-5 Split: 1:28.49|
|6) Maggie Beasley||21:15.11|
|7) Emily Pierce||21:45.94|