The Camp Verde boys and girls cross-country teams are focusing all their training on the Division IV, Section I state-qualifying meet coming up Saturday, Nov. 2, in Holbrook.
The team’s ultimate goal is to qualify as many runners for the state cross-country meet as possible, so head coach Mike O’Callaghan has been putting his harriers through their paces to get them ready.
At the Yavapai County Championships cross-country meet, held in Prescott on Wednesday, Oct. 23, many of the Cowboys runners, though weary of their recent practice schedule, managed to perform well.
“Considering the work we put in on Monday and Tuesday, I thought they did pretty well,” O’Callaghan said. “We had a couple hard days — even [Tuesday] our easy day was a little bit in the hills — so I expected a bit of tired legs and I think we saw some of that.”
Camp Verde boys runner Michael Malloy didn’t appear to have tired legs early in the race as he sprinted out from the starting line and was well out in front after the first quarter mile before dropping well back into the pack and finishing in 36th place in 23 minutes, 2 seconds.
O’Callaghan said Malloy, a junior, may have overestimated his conditioning.
“We talk about how he sometimes thinks of himself as a sprinter, and he certainly did today,” said a smiling O’Callaghan. “When he came by about three-quarters of a mile out, he said ‘I made a mistake!’ So he recognizes what he did, and the fact that he recognizes it is a good thing.”
The Cowboys’ No. 1 boys runner, Joey Benson, who finished 18th in 18:41, said he felt great throughout the race.
“I think I started out good and just kept a strong pace,” he said. “So overall I think I ran really well.”
For the full story, please see the Wednesday, Oct. 30, issue of the Camp Verde Journal.