Members of the Marysville High School cross country program run through American Legion Park Monday morning. The Monarchs conduct summer workouts six days a week during the morning hours. (Journal-Tribune photo by Tim Miller)
Although preseason practices don’t officially start until Monday, the Marysville High School cross-country program has already been working hard toward the 2021 campaign.
The Monarchs have been running six days a week since the beginning of June.
That comes under the Ohio High School Athletic Association’s guidelines for unlimited off-season workouts.
“We’ve been running as part of our summer conditioning program,” said Marysville head coach Luke Sundermeier.
The Monarch runners pare off in groups and can be seen running throughout various areas.
At times they work out on the MHS track facility and at others, they can be seen running throughout the city, weaving around the swimming pool and on the Jim Simmons Trail.
“We’re been working hard as a team, in order to prepare for the season,” said Sundermeier.
The goal for each runner is to accumulate 200 miles over the course of the summer.
“That earns them 30-second bonus points toward earning a varsity letter for the upcoming season,” said Sundermeier.
The Monarch runners have really been pushing the envelope the past couple of weeks, according to the coach.
“I’d say collectively, we’ve run approximately 1,000 miles as a team during that time period,” he said.
Sundermeier said his athletes have taken great strides during the past month.
“We’re progressing well,” he said. “We’ve had about 40 runners on average during our summer sessions.
“They have done a nice job of staying consistent with their conditioning.”
The coach said the summer workouts should lead up to a solid preseason.
“I feel we’re already in pretty good preseason condition,” said Sundermeier. “I feel we are setting ourselves up well for a good 2021 season.
“The summer sessions have particularly been beneficial for our younger runners,” he said. “They are beginning to understand the idea of cross country is to be patient.
“It takes time to build consistent performances.”
Sundermeier said the summer workouts have also helped build team chemistry.
“We’re starting to jell well as a team between the younger runners and our veterans,” he said. “Our older runners are also using this time to develop their leadership roles.
“We’re in the process of developing the mindset for another cross-country season,” said Sundermeier.
“Cross-country isn’t a sport… it’s a life style.”