Fun Stuff


Battlefield Intervals
By: Kevin Milsted

"Only 500 or 1,000 people died," Coach Rob Burke explained, "so it was not a famous battle, but it was important to the outcome of the war."

Saturday's practice carried the Clarksburg cross country team across the Frederick County border to the Monocacy Battlefield just south of Frederick. The Battle of Monocacy is sometimes referred to as the Battle That Saved Washington because Union forces delayed the Confederate Army from advancing on an otherwise under-protected Washington DC.

Clarksburg coaches Rob Burke and Scott Mathias take their roles as teachers seriously, not just in the classroom, but with the athletes they coach during track and cross country season.

"We try to teach them something every day."

Following a brief history lesson, cross country practice began with a 1.5 mile warmup, dynamic stretching, and core.

The workout assignment was four timed miles at 5k race pace with a seven minute recovery for experienced runners and an eight minute recovery for newer runners. The team had previously done a 10x400m workout on the track in which they were assigned a target pace. Burke asked the runners to try to hit that pace again for the mile repeats with the understanding that the terrain was more challenging.

"We're going to try to run this four times. I want you to get after it. You saw the terrain on the warmup...high roots, high grass, long hills, low branches...that's cross country. Don't let those things slow you down. Find your pace."

Sample Top Runner Mile Splits (with 7:00 recovery)
Will Bertrand 5:09 5:14 5:18 5:16
Jimmy Larkin 5:33 5:42 5:59 6:05
Kyle Jordan 5:42 5:41 5:49 5:53
Youri St. Jean 5:56 6:05 6:13 6:13
Dwayne Johnson 5:58 6:11 6:26 6:28
Abbey Daley 6:13 6:31 6:35 6:40
Lucie Noall 6:30 6:50 7:20 6:47

Lead female runner Abbey Daley explained that doing core before the workout made the run especially challenging, but added, "I like workouts that make you better and this was definitely one of them."

Daley is optimistic about her senior year.

"I feel like I'm going to have a great year. I stepped up [summer training] in mileage and pace."

Will Bertrand trained like a distance runner over the summer, but said that he did not decide to run cross country until five days before the first day of practice.

"I want to run in college," said Bertrand. "I was talking to college coaches over the summer. I thought it would be hard to run in college without a cross country base."

He has not chosen his future school but listed Dartmouth and Carnegie Mellon as potential choices, adding that he would be fine with running for a division III school.

About his running career to this point, Bertrand said, "I didn't have the base I wanted during indoor track. I want to have more fitness for indoor and outdoor."

He said that he did a lot of long runs over the summer and ran a few 5k fun runs in the 18 minute range, but would like to get into the 15's when the real competition gets underway.

Clarksburg will host the first Coyote Invitational on October 4, 2012 at High Point Farm in Clarksburg. Burke says that they want to give teams an opportunity to race on the course before the regional championship meets.


Coach J
2012-08-28 15:36:09

I've seen this movie before...Wasn't Denzel Washington the coach?

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