Cross country runs into rough times|
by Jacob Lane · October 23, 2013
The West Liberty cross country team is preparing for a difficult conference meet, Oct. 17. While runners have met individual goals, as a whole, the team has struggled with flat terrain and injuries.
"I think with the flat courses remaining our speed training on grass will help us to finish better at the end of races," said Coach Mike Czarnecki.
The team struggled at the North Cedar meet on Sept. 30 because of a relatively level course. Generally the West Liberty has done better on hill filled courses, including its own at the West Liberty Country Club.
Chuy Maldonado, eighth grade, stood out for the team at the meet. He finished sixth out of 69 runners in his class with a time of 13:02 in the two mile race.
However, the team has spent the last few weeks doing speed work, including running on grassy areas that are flat.
Unfortunately, at the Iowa Mennonite meet on Oct. 7, the team struggled with sickness and injuries, despite the hilly course.
Once again Chuy Maldonado stood out from the team. he finished fifth of 37 runners in his division with a time of 12:47.
Reghan McNaul, who has been one of West Liberty's best performers, was out the last few meets due to shin splints. However, she'll return to the team for the upcoming conference meet.
As for the boys, West Liberty has boys ranked second, third, seventh and ninth in the 2A conference and number one in the 1A conference.
As the season nears its end, Coach Czarnecki sees a bright future for West Liberty.
"I really appreciate the kids that have stayed with the program. We have a lot of hard working sophomores who plan on staying with the program through graduation in two years," he said. "As they continue to run in the off season they have the potential to be very good not only as individuals but as a team."
He said the sophomore class has provided the most runners for his team. This should set up West Liberty for successful years to come.