Coaches take over XC program in stride |

Coaches take over XC program in stride

Photo by Josh Miller/Sierra SunMembers of the 2004 Truckee cross country team warm up for practice at Truckee High School on Oct. 6. (Left to right) Loren Myers, Eric McMullen, Alex Prodaniuk, Mike Matthews, Max Salinger and Ben Aldridge.

It took a few meets, but the Truckee cross country boys team seems to be in peak shape and running like the team that took third place at the 2003 NIAA 3A State Cross Country meet.The boys team (the Wolverines do have two girls, but not enough to field a team and earn points at events) got second place in its most recent meet at Sparks on Oct. 1. Senior Loren Myers, who finished 16th in the state last year, has medaled in all three events and finished fifth overall at Sparks.Myers leads a group of five senior boys who in their last year will try to reclaim the state championship the Wolverines won in 2002. Four other Wolverines runners finished in the Top 20 at Sparks (see results).One of the reasons for Truckees late start this season was the absence of a head coach, but its also because being a California school in a Nevada conference (Nevada Interscholastic Activities Association), the regular season schedule starts before or around the time athletes start school. Nevada schools start their school year one or two weeks before California schools. From a preparation standpoint, this same circumstance hurts all the Truckee fall sports programs. Weve got a great group of kids, but were about a month behind the other schools, said new assistant coach Jay Wild.

Wild and new head coach Tom Wood have replaced former coach Mark Brady, who wanted to spend more time with his family (Brady spent time with the team until a new coach was hired). Wood and Wild have plenty of credible running experience, and when the two found out about the vacant position, they were more than willing to volunteer.We both have a running background, and we didnt want to see the program go down, Wood said.Woods background is impressive. The 41-year-old was a professional runner for a number of years and traveled around the United States and Europe. At the height of his pro experience, Wood placed 92nd in the 1992 World Cross Country Championships held in Antwerpen, Belgium. The standard professional cross country race is 7.4 miles or 12 kilometers.Cross country, to me, is unique because it kind of forces the mind and body to work together, Wood said. Theres no hiding your fitness in cross country. If youre not ready to go, its going to be a long day.Wild, 24, is a former track runner at San Clemente High School in Southern California who recently competed in the Tahoe Big Blue Adventure Race outdoor endurance race. His professional aspirations also fit the job.Im studying to be a personal trainer, so this is right up my alley, said Wild, who currently lives with former cross country coach Brady.Wood and Wild both think the outlook of the sport of cross country in the Truckee area is optimistic.I wouldnt mind helping the program expand, said Wood, a native of Long Island, New York, who also ran cross country for St. Johns University. This area should be a hotbed for running. When we went to North Tahoe (on Sept. 17), the (Truckee) Middle School had a pretty big group, so its a matter of them sticking with the sport.The new coaches also see potential in the underclassmen runners.Our freshmen have been improving, so if they keep on it, we should have very good leaders in the next couple years, Wild said.

DayDateSiteTime/ResultsFri.Sept. 10@ Incline(absent)Fri.Sept. 17@ North Tahoe*7th placeFri.Sept. 24@ Dayton3rd placeFri.Oct. 1@ Sparks2nd placeFri.Oct. 8@ Fernley3 p.m.Fri.Oct. 15@ Lowry3 p.m.Fri.Oct. 22@ Spring Creek3 p.m.Sat.Oct. 30Divisional Meet @ RenoTBASat.Nov. 6State MeetTBATBA* Boys results (girls dont have full team)

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