Lo­cal run­ners out early for 2018 Cross Coun­try sea­son

♦ Con­di­tion­ing and en­durance train­ing key for Jack­ets suc­cess this fall

The Standard Journal - - LOCAL SPORTS - By Lorene Parker loren­[email protected]

While most stu­dents are still sleep­ing, the de­voted ath­letes on the Rock­mart High School Cross Coun­try team have al­ready been up and stretch­ing and out on the pave­ment at 8 a.m.

Head coach Adam Blalock and as­sis­tant coaches Kevin Bach­tel and Dar­rell Lee have a plan for the team’s sum­mer train­ing.

To be­gin, the run­ners are build­ing a “base” through the month of June, mean­ing they are start­ing at a rea­son­able dis­tance and slightly in­creas­ing the num­ber of miles they run each day. They will be in­cor­po­rat­ing tempo and speed work­outs into their train­ing in July.

“We’d like to have them con­di­tioned up to three or four times the race dis­tance,” Bach­tel said. “The good ones will work hard to get there,” Lee added.

The team en­joys run­ning at var­i­ous lo­ca­tions through­out the sum­mer in­clud­ing the Sil­ver Comet Trail, Star Moun­tain, Knox Moun­tain and the Rock­mart High School track.

Last year, the Lady Jack­ets Cross Coun­try squad fin­ished sec­ond in the re­gion and third at state while, the boy’s team fin­ished fourth in the re­gion and 17th at state . In 2018 it is Blalock’s goal is for both teams to fin­ish first in the re­gion.

At the state level, his goal is for the boy’s team to fin­ish in the top ten and for the girl’s team to fin­ish first.

“In or­der to achieve these goals, we need to have a pro­duc­tive sum­mer with high par­tic­i­pa­tion,” Blalock said.

Blalock, Bach­tel and Lee all said that Ar­muchee, Coosa, Gor­don Cen­tral and Pep­perell as their main com­pe­ti­tion for the up­com­ing sea­son.

/ Lorene Parker

The Rock­mart Cross Coun­try team doesn’t mind an early start dur­ing the sum­mer months of 2018 ahead of the start of their sea­son this fall.

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