oss-country team, it’s about getting back into game shape.
2019 ended successfully for the Warriors with a state tournament appearance, but the novel coronavirus didn’t allow the team – or anyone else – to get the kind of prep work expected to compete at the level coach Kathleen Norman has come to expect.
However, Norman has been pleasantly surprised at how ready for competition her squad is – and now, it all has to come together for stable performances.
“Consistency is our primary goal for this season. With COVID-19, our athletes have been off for a long time, but our goal is to get them back into shape and on track for a successful season,” she said. “I’ve been impressed with how many of our athletes have continued with workouts throughout closures, and I am already seeing this show in their workouts and performance.
“Our athletes look strong, and many of them seem to be improving and starting where they were at the end of our last season.”
Though the Warriors lack numbers, Norman said the team doesn’t lack swagger and intensity.
“Though we are a small group, I feel confident that we will have a lot of success this year. We have three seniors, Jacob Taylor, Will Irwin and David Kinne, that are returning that are showing leadership, and encouraging our younger athletes to work hard and commit to the sport,” Norman said. “Also returning, we have sophomores, Dominic Ohlms and Jordan Geiss. In addition, we have added four new freshmen, Jacob Harl, Jack Hoeckelmann, Avery Johnson and Levi Wright to our team, each of which are showing a lot of potential and putting in the work it takes to be successful in this sport.
“I am excited to get to our first meet and see where we are at and make adjustments to reach out individual and team goals by the end of the season.”
Winfield looks to capitalize on its success from last year, and looks to its underclass leaders to get the team there.
“We are very excited for the cross-country season this year,” Norman said. “Last year, we finished out the season sending two of our athletes to state, Kadence Berry and Jessi Rudar, and both are returning as sophomores this year.
“They have been working hard during the off-season with hopes to return to state again this year.