Cross Country pre-season gears up

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Bailey Deaver
FALCON CROSS COUNTRY, boys and girls teams, competed at last year’s 6A state meet held at Great Meadows.

For most high school students summer calls for rest and relaxation.  But for cross-country runners, summer begins the pre-season grind.

Since mid-July, the cross-country teams have prepared for the upcoming season.  And part of this preparation includes meeting every week, Monday through Friday, at First Landing State Park off of Shore Drive at 8:30 a.m.

Both the girls and boys teams held up impressive performances last season, including an historic finish for the girls’, advancing to the state championship in Plains, Virginia, for the first time in seven years.

“I am hoping that the girls advance to the state meet [again] by finishing as one of top three teams in the region. I’m also hoping to see the top three girls in the top 30 in the state meet,” Cross Country Head Coach Lanny Doan said.

The Lady Falcons have six out of seven top runners returning as well as a few promising freshmen.  Most of these top runners also ran on the track and field team last spring and have since been making the transition from the shorter aspect of running on a “track” to the longer distances of cross country.

“Pre-season training is always a struggle.  This year I have felt like it has been harder to improve.  I had a late start which made it even more difficult,” sophomore runner Morgan McKinley said.  “But, after our first scrimmage, I am feeling more confident about the season.  Overall, even though the training has been hard, it has brought our team closer and has gotten us in shape.”

As a team goal, the Lady Falcons team hopes that a closer connection teammates will enable them to return to the state meet.


The boys cross country team is led by mostly upperclassmen this season. Their goal is to return to the state meet after missing qualifying as a team last season.

According to Coach Doan, of course he hopes the boys advance to states as a team, but at the least, knows he will have two or three runners who qualify individually.

The teams plan to kick off the official season with a two-mile race opener at Norfolk Academy in Virginia Beach on Wednesday, Aug. 29 at 4 p.m.

After all the pre-season miles, Falcon Cross Country is ready to take long strides this fall.

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