Cross Country Team Headed to State Meet

The+girls+cross+country+team+pose+together%2C+smiling+wide+after+a+successful+meet.

Courtesy of Klein Cross Country

The girls cross country team pose together, smiling wide after a successful meet.

Samantha Nodine, Editor-in-Chief

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After fighting for their place at the state meet for nearly two decades, the varsity girls cross country team qualified for their state meet last week. The team placed 4th at the region competition, earning them a victory for the second year in a row for the first time in 20 years. At the state meet, the team will face off against 15 other teams across Texas. Because of this, the cross country team has been working tirelessly at perfecting their art.

“We’re up here at 6 a.m. every Monday morning, and then 6:30 a.m. every morning after that,” varsity girls cross country coach Timothy McGuire said. “We usually go to Spring Creek Park on Tuesday afternoons and get work in on the hills. Wednesday and Thursday afternoons, we’re here so that we can increase our mileage and increase our aerobic ability without hammering [the team] too badly.” 

To prepare for the state meet on Nov. 6, the team has been focusing on specific skills at a time that will give them an advantage on Saturday.

“The bulk of our work is mileage and building up aerobic capacity,” McGuire said. “There’s two days a week that we actually get on the track, and we’re working different systems.”

Along with the rigorous training regime, McGuire ensures that each member of the team is worked with individually based on their unique learning styles.

[The assistant coach and I] do a very good job of meeting each student’s motivational needs,” McGuire said. “I’ve had teams where you could do one thing to the whole team, and they’re all motivated by it. This one [team], they’re all completely different, which is not a bad thing. It’s just who they are. As long as they all come together by the time they race, then we’re good to go.”

As he learns how each team member is motivated individually, McGuire has formed close bonds with his team over the years.

“A lot of these girls have seen me watching them run since they were in the seventh grade, so there’s a familiarity there,” McGuire said. “By the time they get [to Klein], they’re kind of used to seeing me. It takes on a different field once you’re in high school and you have that competition, but there’s an established relationship there that we’re able to build off of. We’ve been around each other for forever.

The team has grown close together, and this is something that will set them apart from the 15 other teams in the state on Saturday.

“I think that when we’re looking at the data over the entire state, I think we could finish anywhere from third to 16th,” McGuire said. “It just kind of depends on what day we’re having. Flower Mound and Woodlands High School are outstanding. I mean, those two teams are nationally ranked. Every other team in the field, we’ve either beaten or come very close to beating, and it’s just minor mistakes that we need to correct in order to fix it. So, the potential is there. We just have to see if it’s our day. It’s a lot of preparation and a lot of luck.

McGuire, who has been coaching at Klein for 7 years, shares their sorrow at the losses and their joy at the victories.

“I’m very proud of this group,” McGuire said. “They work hard, they’ve overcome a lot throughout the season to be able to be where they’re at. We had to beat teams that beat us at district in order to get out of region and make it to state and so they’ve overcome a lot and I think at the state meet, these girls have an opportunity to surprise a lot of people.”