The Carroll cross country program had an impressive showing at the Marcus I Invitational last week with a first- and second-place finish on the boys and girls sides respectively, and coach Justin Leonard said it feels like things are already coming together.
Carroll will host its home meet this weekend, and Leonard said the expectations are pretty much the same as they always are.
“We just want for the kids to get out there and run and kind of build upon what we did this week and just kind of see where it goes,” Leonard said.
Leonard said the effort was definitely there at this meet and said that his main goal was to get them prepared for the 5K run.
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“I was real pleased with the team,” Leonard said. “The kids ran really well. It was the first 5K of the season, so you kind of go into it just looking to see how the kids are going to perform at the distance they will face at the regional and state meet, so it’s got a different feel to it. We always open up our season with Marcus I, so it’s a good gauge for us, because all of our returners have run that course before. It’s a good way of telling where your level of fitness is.”
Leonard said that he was able to get a look at what he would be facing at region and said that his team was definitely impressive.
“I was happy with how deep our team was,” Leonard said. “Our girls finished second in the Varsity Elite division, and lost by four points to Marcus, last year’s state runner ups. And then the boys won the elite, but then we put teams in the varsity division, and our teams won those as well.”
Leonard said that he had excellent showings from Antigone Archer, Reed Brown, Charlie Gardner and Allison Esparza at the meet.
Both of Carroll’s JV teams won their divisions as well.
Leonard said that major objectives for the rest of the season are really twofold for his program.
“On the boys side, we just need to close the gap a little bit and get a tighter pack,” Leonard said. “Then on the girls side, we have a tight back, we just to move up more with our time. That’s kind of our goal moving forward is to tighten up a little bit and close the gap.”