With only two days remaining before the official start date for cross country, the team continues to conduct voluntary running workouts at Dawson County High School.
The season officially begins Aug. 1.
Coach Charles Beusse was attending a distance running camp last week in Asheville, N.C. and left his assistants coaches, George Graves and John Lundy, in charge of the workouts.
The second year coach received good reports on the progress of both teams.
"I believe that everything is on track going into the school year. Other than some minor aches and pains that come along with heavy summer mileage, both the boys and girls teams are relatively injury free which I am very thankful for," Beusse said.
Both teams are finishing a five-week cycle of heavy base mileage.
"I can already see fitness improvements across the board with our runners," he said.
The team will have a benchmark workout this week to see how far each runner has progressed this summer. From the benchmark it will help coaches determine current fitness levels, adjust training groups, and plan workouts going into the next training cycle.
"As we move forward, we will continue to put in base mileage, but we will now introduce some threshold workouts into our training," Beusse said.
According to Beusse, Armando Jimenez has looked very solid in this training this summer.
"He has been very consistent in putting in mileage and I am expecting big things from him this fall," he said.
Also on the boys' side, Jacob Poston, Chris Shelp, Garrett Carlisle, Ben Umberger and Brandon Barker have also looked good for the Tigers.
The girls' team looks exceptionally strong.
"Cassidy LeCours and Taylor Grindstaff both enter their senior year much fitter than they did as juniors. Bailey Cotter and Marley Hamby also look fit and ready to go as we enter the season," he said.
The coaching staff will be incorporating more threshold runs over the next two weeks.
"Early in the season, races will be used as glorified workouts for the most part," Beusse said. "So often I see coaches jump the gun with training and introduce hard interval training too early in the season, causing their teams to peak too early and leaving them flat at the end of the year. That's exactly what we want to avoid."
Beusse said that most high school runners only hold a peak for around one to two weeks. Thus both teams will work with a pretty narrow window on their programmed workouts.
"If the kids buy into the training and stay dedicated, there's no doubt in my mind that they will be ready when it matters most," he said.
Beusse pointed out that while most of his runners have been working out all summer, it's not too late for Dawson County High School students to join the team. All they need is an updated and valid physical on file with DCHS and be academically eligible.
Students will have until the end of the first week of school to join.