Bulldogs push each other to growth

Published 9:19 pm Wednesday, October 7, 2015

There has been a revelation that has helped fuel the King’s Fork High School cross country program to a season of growth this year.

“Immediately following the first familiarization run at our normal course, Bells Mills Park, it became evident to the coaching staff as well as our student athletes that we could compete as a team in the state this year,” KF cross country coach Adrian Young stated. “This would be an accomplishment never made at King’s Fork, and we got to work, giving it our best shot.”

King's Fork High School senior Tory Myrick is a leader in the Bulldogs cross country program as he seeks to capture school records this year. (Caroline LaMagna photo)

King’s Fork High School senior Tory Myrick is a leader in the Bulldogs cross country program as he seeks to capture school records this year. (Caroline LaMagna photo)

He noted that his runners have grown by leaps and bounds as this season has progressed.

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“The team is learning the dynamics of long-distance running and how to properly apply the various drills and workouts throughout the race,” he stated. “They have transitioned from thinking of practice as only an intense and grueling workout session to viewing the workouts as necessary steps that they must push through in order to be in the best shape and position to run on race day.”

Though he has volunteered as a coach with King’s Fork’s track and field program, this is Young’s first year as an official cross country head coach. He ran cross country in high school because his basketball coach was also the cross country coach and participating in both sports was strongly suggested.

Young stated he has learned all he knows from clinics and supportive coaches in Suffolk and in Chesapeake.

“My goal is to teach them fundamentals that they can build upon, as well as to essentially fall in love with running,” rather than making it seem like an arduous task.

The list of standouts on the King’s Fork girls’ team starts with junior Paige Summers, who Young described as a competitive, high energy, overall leader.

He said she comes to practice every day determined to do better, but this drive has affected more than just her.

“She makes everybody better,” he said. “She’s determined to keep up with our fastest guys who are running 19s.”

Right behind Summers is sophomore Hannah Marston, who Young noted has exceeded all expectations.

The leading standout on the boys’ team is senior Tory Myrick.

“He kind of helps set the stage as far as what good work habits should look like,” Young said.

Junior Marcus Ramos, who has broken personal records each meet, is pushing Myrick every day.

Other runners to watch for the Bulldogs include sophomore Jackson Stone, junior Edmund Norfleet and junior Lawrence Smith Jr.

Young stated that coming into this season, the goal was to have King’s Fork represented in the boys’ and girls’ top 100 in the state.

“The hard work put in by our team has given us an opportunity to make a run at the conference championship and qualify multiple runners for state this year,” Young stated.

King’s Fork competes in the Conference 17 regular season meet on Tuesday at Bells Mill Park