Clarke County’s new cross country track coach has big shoes to fill when it comes to expectations for a winning season.
“Yes, I’m very aware of Clarke County’s winning traditions and I want to get back to the glory days as quickly as possible” said coach Lorenzo Lara.
Coach Lara is a recent arrival to the area after moving here from Texas. Lara, who has an undergraduate degree in exercise science from Shenandoah University and is now pursuing his masters degree in physical education, said that he and his wife decided to return to Virginia after she took a job with the federal government.
“I heard a rumor that Clarke County was looking for a cross country coach so I approached the athletic director about the position” Lara said. “I’m really excited to have the opportunity.”
Lara, who has never held a head coaching position before, said that he is looking forward to getting to know his runners better so that he can assess his team’s strengths and weaknesses. He said that once he has a better sense of each runner he plans to design a weight program and conditioning routine that will complement the running schedule.
“My goal is to increase the mileage that the team runs in safe way” Lara said. “I also want to put more emphasis on making their recovery runs more productive.”
Lara’s said that his approach may not make everyone happy but it’s the quickest way to getting the runners into top form.
“I’ve heard in the past that the recovery runs were often done at the runners own pace. I’d like to challenge that approach a little bit” Lara said. “Also, I know that runners don’t like weight training but I think that it’s important.”
Lara currently has seven boys and fifteen girls on his team.
“I’d like to grow the number of runners if I can” Lara said. He hopes to network through the existing team members to reach other students who may be interested in joining the team.
Lara says that while he wants to develop a winning team as soon as possible, the real pressure for success is coming from his runners.
“I’m definitely getting the message that there is a tradition of winning here” Lara said. “The kids want to go out and live up to that expectation. But in order to accomplish that I expect them to put in the necessary amount of work. I am putting my trust in them just like they are putting their trust in me. By working together my expectation is that we can continue Clarke County’s winning traditions.”
Students interested in learning more about Clarke County High School’s cross country team can contact Tammi Rhoads at firstname.lastname@example.org