To prepare his runners for their weekly cross country meet, Scotland coach Greg Wrape employs a variety of daily conditioning exercises to keep things fresh.
One such exercise is called “interval running,” where the members of the Fighting Scots’ cross country team will run for a set period of time before stopping for a brief walking period, only to begin again shortly afterward.
It’s on those brief walking periods where Wrape sees the competitive nature of his runners.
“If John (Holloway) gets slightly ahead of the pack during an interval run, Logan (Ward) and Kendall (Romaine) will jog up to get even with John,” said Wrape of his top-three placing runners thus far this season. “Logan and Kendall will never let John get far. It’s a competition every single day for them, and I don’t push them to do it. They do it on their own because they want to beat each other.”
Last week’s cross county meet at Hoke saw a familiar scene play out: Holloway and Ward finished first and second, respectively, en route to a Scotland boys overall win.
But this time, the times that each runner tallied (Holloway finished with a 17.24, Ward with a 17.41) were the first and second fastest finishing times of the season for the Fighting Scots.
And not to be outdone, senior Shyanne Pate has been cutting a record-setting pace of her own this season. Though her girl’s team didn’t place at last week’s event due to injuries, that didn’t stop Pate from doing what she’s done in three of the first four season meets.
Pate took first place overall at Hoke with a time of 21:44, which is not only her fastest time of the year, but also bested her previous mark by nearly 40 seconds.
The inward competition to be the fastest on the team has been a major contributor to Scotland’s success thus far. But for Wrape, it’s the work ethic of his runners that has led to another constant this year.
Each week, the Scotland cross country runners have improved their times across the board.
“You reap what you sow, and these guys get after it every single day,” said Wrape, who has also gradually bumped up the work rate of his runners. Last week the team completed a five-mile run during practice, their longest of the year thus far.
“They really do work hard and don’t complain, and the proof is in the times they record each week.”
Weather permitting, Scotland will travel to Rockingham’s Hinson Lake Tuesday afternoon for their next scheduled meet, which is hosted by Richmond. The meet is set to begin at 5:00 p.m.