Jaguars on the Hunt for End of Season Hardware
One sport that didn't really slow down due to COVID-19 was Cross Country. Although a lot of team dynamics and training sessions were canceled, athletes were still able to work hard and put in the miles during this 2020 Pandemic. The biggest concern was if there would get to even be a season. San Antonio's Johnson High School's coach Courtney Johnson filled VYPE in on the great season the Jaguars have had and her expectations moving forward!
Photo provided by Johnson Coach
- How have your boys & girls teams grown this year, and what have been the biggest challenges?
I think our biggest challenge has been COVID-19. Our team has remained safe but at the beginning of the season there were A LOT of uncertainties on whether we were going to have a season or not. We are still in a middle of the pandemic, but our kids have been resilient through all of the challenges.
As far as growth is concerned, I've been really proud of the way our leadership has stepped up and how well our team is building depth. Because of injuries we have had to run a couple of kids that normally would run on JV, on Varsity, but they all stepped up when their team needed them and have kept improving all season.
- Early state rankings had your teams high- how have you managed the team mentally to just stay the course and run their race?
One of the hardest things to do for any team or individual is to avoid complacency. It is human nature to relax a little when you are on top, but I've been really proud of the way our boys and girls have handled their early success. They do a great job holding everyone in our program accountable to the standard we have in place, and so as a coach it has made my life easier. They know the ultimate goal is not to have a high ranking in September or October, but to win a state championship. So they come to run every day eager to improve and grow. It really has been a blessing to get to work with these kids and see their passion for running day in and day out.
- How have your teams performed this year in comparison to how you felt they should? Would you say they were steady and on course or better than anticipated?
I think each meet they have performed better than I expected! Each week they step up and race as if it is their last meet. They are on course to have big PR's at Regionals and State.
- What are some highlights so far from this season?
There have been many highlights of this season. Everyone has PR'd boys and girls! And we are hoping for more PR'S this season! Our top two highlights would be Taj Lee beating his school record running a 15:10. At that same meet, Tate Underwood, who is a sophomore, PR'd running a 15:27!! Also, Riley Surratt, only a freshman, ran at 18:53 which was big time PR!
- When is the district meet?
District is Wednesday, October 28th at The North East Sports Park- Varsity Girls 8:00am & Varsity Boys 8:30am
The Jaguars have had a great season so far, and as district approaches the road to state becomes a narrow focus. The UIL State Championship meet for 6A will be held on Tuesday, November 24th at Old Settler's park in Round Rock, TX.
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