Michelle Krueger (Kendall) was the coach of the Episcopal girls, the first and only team ever make Nike Team Nationals, now NXN, in 2005. The squad placed 14th overall. We caught up with her to talk about that team and their road to the sport's largest stage.
The team did incredible winning the Great American race of champions, scoring a perfect 15 at the District meet and tying for the lowest team total winning the state meet.
I remember communicating with Nike as to why we deserved to go. Based on race results, the competition we went up against and how young the team was, they extended the invitation.
What was your favorite part about the whole experience from the extracurricular activities to race day?
I remember the excitement of getting the phone call and sharing the good news with the girls and their families. NIKE selected our school (they only chose 4 in the country) to come and do a pep rally and Alan Webb came! They handed t-shirts to the entire student body! They really made the team feel like rock stars. I was so impressed with all that Nike did to make the weekend so special. The hotel stay, the gear, the Q&A with Nike athletes, the race, the facilities, the tour of Nike headquarters... it truly was a weekend to remember!
It's a long flight, and the temperatures/weather are total opposite of Florida. What advice do you have for the guys about adapting to those changes?
I took the girls to the trails near Fort Caroline and to the beach for runs. I think this helped simulate the wet, muddy, conditions that were in Portland. Be sure to stand up every 30 minutes or so during the flight to stretch and keep circulation in your legs.