The Winter Springs girls cross country team will go for the 4A team state title this year. New head coach, Ryan Lowe, gives us the scouting report on this year's squad.
What takeaways did you learn last season that you are looking to apply to the 2018 season?
Last season had the usual highs and lows that come with running: success for certain runners and learning how to overcome injury for others. The most important thing to take away from last season is that adversity is going to be there, how are we going to react to it when it does?
What is the best way to describe your coaching philosophy when working with these high school athletes?
The best way to describe my coaching philosophy is patiently optimistic. I know that it takes time to get the kids to the level that we want them to be at and I am always looking for ways to motivate the kids, to keep them upbeat and looking forward to the season. Cross Country is a very difficult sport so we need to find ways to make it fun and interesting for the kids.
What has summer training been like?
Summer training has been great; we had most of the kids showing up on a regular basis and that really helped me get to know the kids since this is my first year at Winter Springs. The actual workouts were just a lot of miles to help the kids build their base for the season.
The long runs in Clermont are always fun and it gives me a better understanding of each of the runners personality, 10 miles is a long time to talk to people.
Any impactful freshman or transfers to join the team this season?
We have a relatively small team but I think our one new freshman, Caroline Wells, will make an immediate impact. I'm looking forward to seeing all of the kids run over the next few weeks just so I can get a better idea as to how they handle competition.
What will be the biggest challenge your team will face this year?
The biggest challenge will be keeping everybody healthy. If we can maintain our health throughout the season then this can be a special year.
From your perspective, what would define success for your team this season? What do you think it will take for your team to achieve that?
Our ultimate goal is to win a State Championship but we know that it will be very difficult. So many things have to go right during the course of the season in order to even be in consideration for the podium. There are so many quality athletes and coaches that we will go against every week so we are looking to just improve throughout the season and see what happens.
What are some of the meets the team is looking forward to this year?
We are looking forward to just starting the season. Every meet is going to be a new adventure for us and it will take me a while to learn how each of the athletes actually races.