The Carroll cross country program failed to disappoint once again in 2014, as the boys won their fourth consecutive state championship in the sport and the girls team finished fourth overall as a team at the state meet.
Coach Justin Leonard said that off-season workouts are underway for the 2015 campaign and said that so far, he is pleased with the progress his team has made.
“We are into full-time training and getting ready for next season,” Leonard said. “The main thing that we did is just build the base and get ready for the season. So right now, we are just basically logging a lot of miles, and that is the key goal for the summer.”
Leonard said his athletes work out together and said that one of the best things about the off-season workouts is what they do for the less experienced varsity runners.
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“We just meet up as a group and try to put in some miles,” Leonard said. “That’s the main goal, is to try to get some of our younger kids to kind of follow in and move up with those upperclassmen and try to create a strong team.”
Leonard said that he believes that things are shaping up very well once again for his teams to make a run at a state title on both sides.
“We’re excited,” Leonard said. “On the girls side, we’ve got a very deep team. We’ve got a great senior class. I think that we’ve got a good chance to put that team out there and really achieve our goal. For the boys, it’s the same way. We’ve got some really good strong returners with Reed Brown, and Charlie Gardner and Shay Whatley and Timou Toure, so we’ve got guys who ran at the state meet last year that just continue to get better. So we’ve just got to continue to develop some of the younger guys on the boys team as well.”
On the girls side, Antigone Archer, Sarah Odneal and Kayli Jones should help lead the way for the Lady Dragons this season, and fans should keep an eye on Michael Waugh on the boys side, as well.
The goals for this season are the same every year for the Carroll teams, which is to win a state championship on both sides, but Leonard said the team needs to focus on doing its best at each meet first and foremost.
“Right now, we just want to be the best 2015 team that we can be,” Leonard said. “But I think that both the boys and girls know that the ultimate goal is to win a state championship. That’s what we’re working for is to try to do that. We are not trying to outdo any other year, but just be the best 2015 team that we can be.”