Girls likely to have success in cross country

By Jeff Smith

Left to right, Janean Hanka, Lizzy Escalante, Karlee Simmons and Taleigh Adrian after leading cross country athletes in their workouts on Aug. 20. They were on the team last year and contributed to the winning season.

Entering his fifth year as the head coach, Joe Noyes said they need to figure out ways to get better after the team has been the best. He will be challenging athletes with that. Noyes said the fun of this year is going to be finding a way to compete every week and get better. There are leaders on the team who have already proved that they are motivated and ready to get the season started.

“The good thing about this year is we bring back three seniors,” Noyes said.

The Varsity girls on the team were very devoted to the sport last year and came up with the Class A state title. Noyes said there was some good leadership lost but at the first practice the upperclassmen stepped up and led workouts.

“We are going to look to their leadership,” Noyes said.

He said their goals are to contend for another state championship.

Joe will be joined by his brother Jared Noyes as the assistant coach again this year. Jared will be the assistant coach for the third year.

“I’m looking forward to improving on what we did last year,” Noyes said.

He also enjoys seeing who shows up for the middle school.

His primary job as the assistant coach is to be a support for the main coach.

“I help wherever I can. Today I was out mapping the distance for the work out,” Noyes said.

Noyes helps with planning, scheduling and drives the school Suburban from time to time.

There are 19 runners that have shown interest in cross country so far.  Noyes said that he would like to get into the 25-30 range. Hopefully, there will be more middle schoolers persuaded to come out.

Aug. 20 was the first practice sanctioned by the South Dakota High School Activities Association. The practice started with some foot workouts, stretches and preparing the body to run. The practice started at a unique spot here in Hill City — the cemetery. But there are some nice views from there and the gravestones add to the aesthetic. It is a quiet and private place for the students.

Noyes said some of the students have been running since late June.

He stated the whole point of summer training is to get the most out of practices in the regular season.

“If you come into the season out of shape, yeah you can have success and have a good season but you are limiting the opportunity,” Noyes said.

He said when players come to the season fit and in shape there is not really a limit to what the athletes can do training-wise.

Noyes said one of the big races that the team is going to key on is the Augie Twilight.

“It gives us an idea of where we’re at in comparison with the rest of South Dakota,”  Noyes said.

Then the focus goes to the championship season which is the conference, region and the state meet.

Noyes said it will be interesting to see what the students do that set them apart from everybody else.

The first meet of the season is the Douglas Early Bird this Friday.