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Cross country coach optimistic
Cross Country 1.jpg
Chris Simones photo Alec Smith leads coach Anne Myers and teammate Caleb Smith during the WCHS cross country team’s practice Thursday afternoon at Nunley Stadium.

By Chris Simones

Warren County High School’s cross country teams have been hitting the trail all summer preparing for the upcoming season.

Coach Anne Myers anticipates some outstanding work from at least two of her runners.

“My two big guns this year are Alec Smith and Kameron McLaughlin,” said Myers. “They’re both incredibly talented and they’re also great leaders. It’s going to be fun to see what they do this season.”

“We’ve been practicing with all of us together on Tuesdays and Thursdays since June,” Myers continued. “Most of our kids are very goal-oriented and they practice on their own as well. It’s fun to see kids who really want to push themselves improve and see results.”

 Coach Myers is pleased with the progress she’s seeing from one runner in particular.

“I’m excited about Caleb Smith,” Myers said. “He just came over last year and I can’t wait to see what he’s going to do. When he first started he came in at about 28 minutes and now he’s just under 23. That’s a huge achievement.”

“I always get excited about kids who work hard and want to improve,” Myers added.

Coach Myers is happy the girls team has five members this year. This is the first season the girls team has had enough members to be scored.

“We definitely have five now and it may end up being six or seven. It’s really nice to have seven,” said Myers.

Myers is very encouraging of her runners and is constantly motivating them verbally but she does more than coach them from the sideline. As the runners were lining up to run their final 1,200-meter jaunt, one of the runners asked Myers if she was going to join them. She lined up alongside him without hesitation.

“I wanted to make sure he was keeping his intensity. Sometimes it’s good to get in there yourself,” said Myers.

COVID-19 has forced some small changes to the practice regimen but nothing major or disruptive.

“We check everyone’s temperature before each practice and we make sure they keep spread out. I constantly have to remind them to stretch their arms out and make sure no one’s within arm’s reach,” Myers said. “Honestly, with everything that’s going on, I feel lucky we get to practice.”

Warren County’s first meet is the Siegel 2 Mile Under the Stars competition in late August, a nighttime event in Murfreesboro.

“It’s a really good starting point and it takes place on a track. The experienced guys love it because they can really let loose and haul,” said Myers. “It’s just a two-mile event. It’s a very upbeat atmosphere with music and it’s under the lights. It’s a great way to start the season.”