Pacing Through the Season

The Allen High School Eagles cross country team will travel to Myers Park in McKinney to compete in the District 6-6A Championship on Oct. 12.

The Eagles are led by returning runners, senior Michelle Monroe and junior Jonathan Chung. The team has two races left before district. Runners on both the girls’ and boys’ teams are looking to win district after both the boys and girls team got 6th in district last year.

“We have two meets left for the people who don’t make it past district. Junior runner Jonathan Chung said. “This week the varsity team goes to Austin and then JV is going to Guyer and then we have districts which is in McKinney.”

Despite the graduation of key runners, head coach Kirk trent said the team has been able to have leaders step up and push each other. Last year, a handful of individual runners made it beyond district and a couple went to state.

“With the way the program is set up, each year when we lose runners to graduation, the underclassmen naturally step up and fill those empty spots.” cross country head coach Kirk Trent.  “Three freshmen girls have come into the program and have qualified for the varsity team.”

Out of four races, the girls have compiled two top 15 places. The boys team has managed to get themselves one third place finish along with one fourth place finish even after facing an injury to top girls junior runner Emilie Morgan.

“It showed that we needed to step up because [Emilie] is definitely our number one runner so when that happens, we had to step up and fill that spot, we had to be hitting faster times so in the case that she’s our for district, that we can step up and still make out and now that she’s coming back strong and hopefully we’ll be healthy by district,” senior runner Michelle Monroe said.” Just working hard to fill for when she wasn’t there will make us even better having her be back.”

The cross country team have seen a change of workouts over the last year which has improved the team and getting them ready for district. The need for endurance is key for finishing and placing high.

“Our base building season starts over the Summer.” Chung said. “We build up a base, like a mileage to run. Over the course of the Summer I was running about 70 miles a week.”

Although the team may be headed in the right direction, there is always room for improvement. The last minute improvements can help the team go farther beyond their expectations.

“It’s the little things that matter. Even though it’s small during a warmup, doing those things that’ll help the big things work out in the end.” Monroe said. “The little things are the most important. Just doing the small steps to getting district, that’s really important.”

Several runners have the opportunity to set personal records or advance individually at Myers Park Oct. 12.