Girls Cross Country Team Welcomes New Coach, Carolyn Adams
by Natalie Wilczek
The season started off just right with the Northside girls cross country team welcoming new head coach, Ms. Carolyn Adams from the math department. After teaching at Northside for six years, the opportunity opened up this past summer. Part of Adams’ motivation to become a teacher was knowing she would be able to become involved in coaching, and she has many techniques in store for this season.
Adams has been playing sports since she was nine years old. The first sport she was committed to was basketball, which has played throughout her life. Entering high school, Adams joined the cross country team in order to get into shape for basketball season -- eventually becoming a better runner than a basketball player.
Beyond high school, Adams ran in college for a club team. Adams moved to Chicago after college, which was when she started long distance running. Soon after, she joined a running group, which entailed meeting with other runners to help in training. Training for marathons and getting involved in the running community in Chicago also benefitted Adams greatly.
According to team members, the number one goal for the girls’ cross country season is to win the City Championship. The girls won last year, so hopes are high. If they can accomplish that, they will aim further, shooting for the State level. Team members are working on improving their individual times on a weekly basis, which will support the team as a whole.
To have a better season, training philosophies are vital. Most importantly, the cross country members must enjoy what they are doing. In terms of the mechanics of the actual training, the goal has been building mileage. As they get into the season, the girls are running longer distances and fighting through harder workouts. Near the apex of their season, the runners often feel constant fatigue. Fortunately, in a couple weeks, the intensity will start to taper off, lessen the mileage, and more recovery time will be added. This will ensure that the team reach their peak for the City Championship.
Adams believes that her role as a motivator will “stem from the top and work its way down.” As a coach, she always wants to inspire the runners to work hard and do their best. Adams says, “I want to feed positivity into the mindset of the upperclassmen and the captains. This will help them exhibit that and give them a message to the lowerclassmen and the new runners year after year.” Adams believes that once they establish that mindset, they will be able to carry it out continuously.
To making the team even more successful, Adams believes that students should learn from the returning lead runner, Sara McCoy, Adv. 807, who had a fantastic year last season. The team has seven other very strong runners whom Adams wants to move closer to McCoy, to close the gap a little bit. The closer Adams can get these runners to McCoy, the better the team score will be.
Adams is looking forward to getting to know the girls a lot better and building relationships with them, as well as seeing their development as runners over the course of the season. The Hoofbeat wishes Mrs. Adams a successful season; Go Mustangs!