Mo.milesplit: Coach, how does it feel to be finished and accomplish such a great end to your season?
It feels great. To be honest, I wish it wasn't over. This was a very fun group of kids to work with. Everything that they earned this year was through hard work, day in and day out. I am so proud of this group of ladies.
Are there any unique things you do as a team to get ready or celebrate before/after state?
We don't do anything to unique. We always eat Arris' Pizza and visit the state capital the evening before. The kids love it.anything to unique. We always eat Arris' Pizza and visit the state capital the evening before. The kids love it.
What are you most proud of when it comes to your team this season?
I am most proud of the growth that these ladies have shown this season. We were a true team, in a sport, that has a lot of individualization. We grew together as the year progressed. Seeing the smiles on our kids faces when we knew we had attained our 1st ever team state track plaque was extremely satisfying as a coach. They made many good lifelong memories as the state meet progressed.
Who do you think really stepped up at state to give you such a solid finish?
There were so many kids that stepped up. Anna Heacock finished with 28 total points scored at the state meet. That alone is impressive, but we also had so many other huge performances. Taya Allen stepping up in the 100 Hurdles, and running the finals of the 300 Hurdles with a quad strain. Our 4x2/4x1 Relays of Abi Chipps, Sydney Weik, Holly Welker, Jenna Courtois, absolutely stepping up and scoring valuable points. Sarah Handrahan making a huge discus throw in her final attempt to move up the points ladder. Jordan Heacock, stepping up in her distance races. This was a total team effort, which is extremely satisfying.Hurdles, and running the finals of the 300 Hurdles with a quad strain. Our 4x2/4x1 Relays of Abi Chipps, Sydney Weik, Holly Welker, Jenna Courtois, absolutely stepping up and scoring valuable points. Sarah Handrahan making a huge discus throw in her final attempt to move up the points ladder. Jordan Heacock, stepping up in her distance races. This was a total team effort, which is extremely satisfying.
Are there any crazy moments you are willing to share from state?
Not to crazy of a moment, but when Taya strained her quad in the 100 Hurdles finals, she had to be pulled from our 4x2, so we could get her leg as to close normal as possible. Sydney Weik our alternate absolutely stepped up and ran great in Taya's place. That 4x2 was a big moment for us.
What do you feel are your chances next year and is there one thing you might have done differently as you reflect?
We feel extremely fortunate that almost all of our team is returning for next year. We feel confident that, as long as, we stay healthy that we could make a run at a state championship again. We are losing three great seniors, but return the bulk of our team, for the next two years. One thing as I reflect back on everything is that I need to make sure I enjoy every moment of the state meet. My better half, (Melanie Rouggly, Head Softball Coach, who came in 3rd place overall in Class 2 Softball this year) told me that on finals Saturday. Enjoy the moment. I made sure I did that Saturday.
Where does this team rank in your school's history and is this the first state trophy for your program?
This is our first ever state track plaque. This is also the highest any of our teams have ever finished in the state series. Girls Softball has our other state plaque, with a 3rd Place Finish.
Do you have any advice for other coaches who wish to eventually get to your level at the state championships?
Enjoy your time with your kids, and continue to push them to be the best that they can be. In our coaching world, being positive with young people goes a very long ways these days Kids feed off of that. Stick to high standards, and your kids will do everything they can to get to and stay at that level.