Photo by Beau Bearden.
KINGMAN – Rebuilding a team is never easy.
Kingman High cross country coach Anne Bathauer is well aware of that fact after dealing with change during the last three seasons.
That isn’t stopping Bathauer though, as the 24th-year coach is determined to keep at it.
“If I can get these kids out, there’s a chance I’ll get them out next year,” she said. “Then I won’t have to rebuild again. My main thing is to keep kids active. This is a scholarship sport. I’ve been lucky to be able to coach some great athletes and get them to the next level.”
Bathauer has two different teams this year, with one rebuilding and the other poised to make a run to state. The Bulldogs are mostly made up of freshmen and sophomores, while the Lady Bulldogs look to carry over their success from last year.
“I’m excited for the girls’ chances,” Bathauer said. “We had six solid runners last year and I have those six back plus some freshmen, which should really help our team.”
Bathauer added that she still expects more runners to join the team, as that is usually the case in cross country.
As far as the season is concerned, Bathauer mentioned that she is looking forward to the Four Corners Invitational in Flagstaff because it provides the team with great competition. The early test should prove worthwhile as Bathauer hopes the Lady Bulldogs make a strong run in 2017.
“My expectations for the girls are to make it back to the state meet – that has not wavered,” she said. “With the people that we have, if we can consistently practice and they consistently get better, I think that we can have a good opportunity to make it to the state meet.”
The Bulldogs, meanwhile, are in rebuilding year, but Bathauer still has faith in success down the road.
“There’s some talent,” she said. “We have a couple of talented sophomores that I really think are going to help us this year, but also in the future.”