8/21/2013 6:00:00 AM Kingman Academy runners have long course ahead
Matt Hollinshead Miner Staff Reporter
KINGMAN - This season will be more of a learning year for Kingman Academy's cross country team. It'll be an unfamiliar leap, at least initially.
The Tigers enter the 2013 season going up from Charter Athletic Association competition to the Arizona Interscholastic Association.
With two days of practice now under their belts, that's not the only immediate challenge - the team lost five runners from 2012. KAHS head coach Heather Amenhauser anticipates productive seasons out of senior Issac Block and sophomore Thomas Easter from the boys roster, as well as seniors Hannah Herbine and Lily Young leading the girls roster.
More importantly, Amenhauser is thinking about more than just the transition into the AIA. She is keeping the future in perspective.
"I will look to those runners to help lead the younger ones that are coming up, trying out for this first time," Amenhauser said. "It's completely opposite from what they're used to. (My runners) haven't run against any of these teams. Last year, we ran in a lot of local races in town. We are only able to go to Phoenix twice to actually see our competition, so this will definitely be a lot nicer. And we have a lot more races."
Taking part in additional races will allow them to run locally far more often. For starters, they'll run at their first meet at Lee Williams High School on Sept. 4. For Kingman Academy, it's still in town and inside their comfort zone.
"To stay in town will be good. I think (the first meet) will open their eyes to see what they need to do," Amenhauser said, also noting her runners' heart and determination will be key. "It's hard to motivate kids (and say), 'Hey, you're going to go run today. Guess what? You're doing the same thing the rest of the year.' We'll train hard. I'll keep pushing them as hard as I can."