GREENVILLE — Greenville’s girls cross country team finished fifth in the O-K Bronze Conference this season, but coach Chelsea Cates knows why.
“The O-K Bronze is a tough conference with many outstanding schools,” Cates said.
But Cates already has a goal for next season.
“Next year, the goal is to improve enough to finish third or fourth,” she said.
One of the reasons the Yellow Jackets didn’t finish higher was a lack of preparation before the season, according to Cates.
“This year we had many runners who had not run over the summer and didn’t have miles on their legs. This definitely set us back at practices,” she said. “Summer running is definitely something that is going to be emphasized as a crucial element of training, and will result in times being faster for next year.”
Even so, Greenville had a good group, Cates noted.
“This group of girls was absolutely phenomenal,” she said. “I can think of situations where every girl stepped up in one way or another.”
Cates mentioned a few girls who fit that bill.
“Some specifics would be our captains, Madison Sorsen and Kaysie Cushman,” she said. “They were excellent examples of leadership.
“Sarah Austin led the pack all season, and really encouraged girls to improve.
“Rachel Nanzer was such a hard worker and led others to do the same. She also arranged for team activities that helped the kids form a tight bond.”
Cates said next year’s results should be different.
“I really see our times improving next season,” she said. “I am looking forward to kids coming to the first day of practice with miles on their legs. I’m excited about the challenging workouts that we will be able to do because they are prepared and ready to go. I know that, like this year, there will be many personal records and individual improvement.”