New year, new drills

It is the summer of 2019. The sun beats down on the streets of Woodstock. Many stay in their air-conditioned homes, but Etowah’s cross country team spends its time training in the heat for the upcoming season. 

“My goal this season is to podium as a team at state,” Makenna Calbert, sophomore, said.   

Last year neither the boys’ nor girls’ varsity team gained a podium spot at state and because of this, the coaches are planning on changing the way the team trains for this coming season. During the summer, the coaches rallied together and cleared out the walking trails by the practice field for training. The trails will provide a rocky surface for the runners to use different muscles that they would not be using on a flatter surfaces like sidewalks or streets. 

“The pavement (on the walking path)  tears you up. The trails are shaded, beneficial, off roads, and getting on dirt will work different muscles, ” Garret Hurlbert, head coach, said. 

Another change this year is the absence of one of Etowah’s  key runners, Vince Mwangi. Although Mwangi lives in Woodstock, he is attending school in Florida where he moved before the first meet. Over the summer, Mwangi trained with many professional runners in Kenya. When he returned from Africa, Mwangi shared what he learned with Coach Hurlbert to help the Eagles for the upcoming season.

“We are going to start using the Kenyan techniques in our training this year.” Hurllbert said.  

This year, the Etowah cross country team will be racing through the season with high expectations and even higher goals.