IOWA CITY - Bill Schwarz is a firm believer in the #x201c;power of the pack.#x201d;
The Cedar Rapids Prairie boys' cross country coach knows, in the absence of a front-runner, the success of his team typically relies on essential contributi ... »
CEDAR RAPIDS — The track and field season officially kicked off on Feb. 13, but some Cedar Rapids Xavier athletes have been using the offseason to perfect their craft.
“I started training for track as soon as cross country was over,” senior distance runner Katie Tallett said. “I’m training for a marathon right now, which is nice because I have set runs to do each day. I’ve been running an average of 30-35 miles a week for the past couple weeks. I’ve always worked on strengthening in December, as well as speed training.”
Tallett is not the only one who is putting in extra effort outside of practice.
“This offseason I have been preparing for track by running outside and lifting in the morning or in the afternoon,” sophomore Nathan Skala said. “From November to the middle of January, I ran about three to five times every week. I also do a lot of core (work) because the core helps you in running and lifting.”
The Saints hope their extra work in the offseason will translate to success on the track when pursuing their goals. For junior Beau Van Berkum, hard work in the offseason is an important factor to accomplishing future goals.
“My main goal is to help get the 4-by-8 team to be the best we can possibly be,” Van Berkum said. “Another goal is to just get the whole team to be the best we can. When districts come around, we will be put to the test to see how good we are. Then hopefully, we can make it to state and perform to the best of our abilities.”
Xavier athletes involved in track and field face pressure from the demanding physical aspect as well as the high expectations placed on themselves. For Skala, the expectations are immensely high after finishing second in the 3,200-meter relay at state as a freshman. Van Berkum also was part of that relay.
“I think the biggest challenge for me is not being satisfied with where I’m at,” Skala said. “Despite doing well freshman year, I hope I can only get better.”
The Saints’ boys’ and girls’ track teams will be competing in the Demon Indoor meet at Cornell College. The girls meet is Thursday, starting at 4 p.m. The boys compete on Friday, also at 4 p.m.