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Springfield boys cross country coach ‘thrilled’ with progress

9/26/2013 - South Side Leader
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By Sean Patrick

SPRINGFIELD — First-year Springfield High School boys cross country head coach Kevin Gorby said he is “thrilled” by the progress his team has shown this season.

“We are having a very, very good season already,” he stated. “Comparing where we were at last year and where we are now in the Super Duals, I’m thrilled so far this season. I like the teamwork these dedicated individuals have put in. They listen to everything I say, they don’t question me as a coach, and they go out and give 100 percent every time. And when it’s over with — win or lose — they know that the focus is on improvement. They know that if they keep improving, then winning will take care of itself.”

According to Gorby, the boys team is led by sophomore James Williams and junior David Carlyn.

“When James started off the season, he was at 21 minutes and 40 seconds. He is now at 17 minutes and 30 seconds. He is our best runner,” the coach said. “James and David are a great one-two punch for us. They are very, very solid runners.”

Overall, Gorby said, this year’s team entered the season without a lot of varsity experience.

“We did get a transfer who came from Field, named Tristan Phillips, and he had some experience where he was at,” the coach said. “But other than Tristan, who is a sophomore, these guys are really just now getting into it. It’s a very young team.”

Another key runner for the team is sophomore John Michaels, who has been placing among the team’s top four runners.

“Right now, our biggest focus is getting our No. 5 man closer to our top four of James, David, Tristan and John,” Gorby said. “Our top four have been running near the front, and our goal is to get a No. 5 up there, because there is a pretty good gap between four and five. But we have several individuals vying for the five, six and seven spots.”

Gorby said his runners have done a good job of amping up their intensity this year.

“My intensity is a lot higher than they were used to, and the thing that I’m thrilled with is that they’ve been able to really answer my workouts and be injury free,” he said. “That’s been a blessing for us. My goal was to try to get as many guys as possible under 18 minutes, and we’re on our way. We’ve really dropped a lot of time across the board, and we’re only halfway through the season. By the time we get to championship mode, my goal is to be competitive with the bigger teams.”

The improvements this season also will pay dividends in the future, the coach said.

“We only graduate one senior, and we have new kids still coming out for the team,” he stated. “In fact, in the last week, we’ve picked up three new runners. That’s something I do in my first years of coaching and then I won’t have to do it anymore, because it will be like a machine feeding itself. The first years, though, are the recruiting years and are about getting bodies on the line. But we’ve got some talent. We’ve got some dedicated kids who are hard workers, and I’m thrilled with where we’re at.”

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