The Colleyville Heritage cross country program is gearing up for what could be a very challenging 2014 season, but coach Will Carter said if his team focuses on what it's doing and competes to its level of capability, it should be just fine.
With the first meet looming in the not-so-distant future, Carter said he has been pleased with what he has seen from his team to this point in the summer.
“We're doing pretty good,” Carter said. “We've had higher attendance this summer, and this last spring. We've been working toward preparing for the upcoming season since November, so our preparations have been better than they have in years past.”
Carter said that the goals for the coming season pretty well set on both sides.
“Team-wise, we want to get both teams to the regional meet,” Carter said. “For the boys, we are looking for a top 10 finish at the regional meet. That would be very admirable in Region I, because of the talent we have in our region.
“It's tough. If we do that, it would be the highest finish for a boys team in school history. For the girls, we want a top 16 finish, because that is the highest the girls have ever finished.”
The boys team finished second in district in 2013 and 16th at regionals and the girls team was fifth in district last season.
Key returners for Colleyville Heritage include David Strome, Joey McCardel, Dee Russell, Cameron Pescatello and Luis Mungra on the boys side, and Brittney Terrazas, Julie Culbertson, and Jenny Covington, a regional qualifier from last season.
Carter said he anticipates Carroll as being his team's toughest district opponents, and said he expects Coppell and L.D. Bell to also be strong programs.
In spite of the level of competition the Panthers cross country program will face this year, Carter said his team is not focusing on that.
“We really don't care what our district is,” Carter said. “There are certain landmarks that we are just going to go after. Regardless of whose in our district, we are going to try to train and race for these set landmarks that we have set for ourselves. We're not thinking too much about how realignment has affected us.”
For Colleyville Heritage to achieve the goals it has set for itself this season, Carter said his team is going to have to put in the effort to be the best it can be.
“The miles have not been a problem for us,” Carter said. “What we've had to learn how to do is to run hard all the way to the end. That's on a training run, that's on a race, and we just need to learn how to run as hard as we can all the way to the end, regardless of what the distance is.”