An interview with Bronco XC Coach
Bronco harriers have a very positive outlook as they get set to open the 2022 season
The San Juan High School cross country team is set to begin their season this Saturday, August 13 at the Boggy Draw Bear Chase in Dolores, CO. Teams from Monticello, Mancos, and of course Dolores will also compete in the event.
Head coaches Will and Holly Walker, who are entering their ninth year at the helm of the Broncos, are excited about the upcoming campaign. Holly answered several questions posed by the San Juan Record ahead of the team’s start this weekend.
SJR: What are your thoughts about the team in general as you get set to start?
HW: We have a great team this year. We only lost a few seniors from last year and have gained some very promising new runners. Consistency in summer training is key to the best performances during the season.
It’s difficult to be consistent in training during the summer with so many conflicting family and other obligations including summer jobs, but many of our runners have taken the challenge of completing the “200 Mile Club” or “400 Mile Club” where they run over 200 or 400 miles (depending on which they choose) within the span of the summer.
We are excited to see their hard work pay off and see what our athletes are capable of this year.
SJR: Are there any strong young runners coming up?
HW: Kyle and Noah Begay are freshmen this year and both have shown outstanding work ethic and perseverance in their summer training. We have several other freshmen boys who look strong too, including Wyatt Keith and Ethan Francom.
For the girls, both Brinley Jones and Rose Kartchner show great promise. We hope we have some other new team members join our team once school starts.
SJR: Who do you expect to step up into leadership roles this season?
HW: We have several natural leaders on our team this year. Dakota Long is our head boys captain. Dakota is all-in and motivates those around him to try to rise to his level of dedication. Tayden Bitsoie prefers not to be in the spotlight, but it’s hard to ignore his intense efforts and positive outlook.
Junior Edward Lyman, another captain, leads by example with his hardworking and cheerful attitude and is set to smash his personal records set last year.
Our head girls captain, Saylor Perkins, is a team favorite. She works hard, gives her all, and is always willing to go the extra mile with a smile.
SJR: Where do you expect to have strengths this year?
HW: Our boys team is tough and we have a group of boys very close in pace who motivate each other. They had their first taste of success last year at region and again at state and are hungry to improve their times and places.
SJR: In what areas might you need work?
HW: We have a wonderful group of girls this year, but several are choosing to try to do two sports. It’s difficult to have the discipline necessary to do well at two sports/activities and still do well academically.
SJR: What do you hope to accomplish as a team this season?
HW: Both the girls and boys teams are setting goals as individuals and as a team for the season. I hope they each see what incredible athletes and people they are and how they can do HARD things.
Things that seem impossible to them today will be possible in a few weeks, months, or years if they decide to put their fears aside and give their all.
Each new personal record, each positive uplifting thought that pushes out the doubt and negativity helps them achieve their potential not only as runners but as the women and men they are becoming.
Learning and growing as a team and as individuals are our top goals.