Local runners out early for 2018 Cross Country season
♦ Conditioning and endurance training key for Jackets success this fall
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.
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.