Roosevelt Ettiene, Reporter

Last year, the Cougars season was a little lopsided. Many of the good runners got injured closer to the end of the season, which threw the whole team “off track.” Monrico, who was a freshman, was one of the bright lights on the team, coming in 13th place in the Mayor’s Cup Championship. The Cougars are looking forward to starting this new season and forget about the past. They want to improve and send as many runners as possible to the City Championship. I had a few moments to speak to Coach Chad Hermiller. He believes that the runners on his team can make it to the City Championship. They just need to put their minds to it and use their full potential. Coach Hermiller already sees a better team than last year, based on just grades. He doesn’t have to worry about students failing off and can focus on making better runners out of everyone. Two players to look out for this year are Sophomore Monrico Cummings and Junior Isaiah Ortega. Both are good runners who have the potential to come out on top. Coach Hermiller knows that Monrico will own the 100 and 200 meter dash, because speed comes naturally to him. They have both done everything expected of them, plus more, and Coach Hermiller is very grateful for that.

Here are some questions that I was able to ask in my brief conversation with Coach Hermiller:

Q: As a coach what do you think defines a good runner?
A: A good runner is someone who is self motivated. When you’re running it’s only you out there and if you don’t believe in yourself, nobody will. Also you must work hard in practice. If you are not going to put your effort in practice, then do not expect to win. As a runner you must know how to run with pain, because you will be sore. Fighting through the pain defines a good runner. Most importantly, a good runner must have speed.

Q: When things are not going the team’s way, what do you do to your guys to keep them on task?
A: When I see people slacking, and not coming to practice on time, I usually start crewing people up. If they continue to slack, I make them do more than I planned which will only benefit them. I let them know what their potential is, so that they can motivate themselves to work hard and run that extra mile.

Q: What do you plan for this year’s track team?
A: This year I plan to get as many runners from the team into the City Championship and finish on top.

Q: How is track and field different from any other sport?
A: Track and Field is different from other sports, because you decided if you win the race or not. There are no referees to make a bad call, or a ball that bounces the wrong way. It’s man versus man, and whoever wants it more will win.