Kickapoo senior Ian Frazier has his eyes set on state
Posted: Monday, 30 July 2012 1:08PM
Kickapoo cross country team has lofty goals
Springfield, Mo. (Ozarks Sports Zone) -- For members of the Kickapoo men’s and women’s cross country teams, there is no such thing as off time. Most of the team also runs track, so they are constantly running year-round. From the time the school year ended, Kickapoo has been training to once again finish at the top of the Ozark Conference standings and at the state level.
“We have been hard at it since June 1. We meet at Lake Springfield on Monday mornings and at Kickapoo Tuesday through Saturday. We also lift weights and run Monday and Wednesday afternoon at 4,” Kickapoo head cross country coach Jeremy Goddard said.
Last year, the women’s team finished at the top of the Ozark Conference standings. They are returning two state qualifiers from the past season: senior Olivia Willoughby and sophomore Ireland Davidson. The team overall did not qualify for the state tournament.
“Olivia Willoughby and Ireland Davidson are returning state qualifiers and they will lead the girls’ team. We will be looking for big contributions from other returning varsity runners like Maris Calvert, Heather Haloupek, and Mackenzie Ozee as well as some new talented runners,” Goddard said.
The women’s team is expected to have a good mix of upperclassman and underclassman on the roster. An advantage that Kickapoo will have is that many of the younger members of the team, such as Davidson, have experience against high-level competition.
Lead by senior Ian Frazier, the men’s team shouldn’t be a disappointment either this upcoming season.
“My personal goals for the season include a top-5 finish at the competitive Forest Park Cross Country Festival, along with a victory at the OSU Cross Country Jamboree, and a top-5 finish at the state championships,” Frazier said. “For the team, I would like to see us get a Conference and District championship, along with an OSU Jamboree team title and state trophy. I believe we have the talent and the dedication this year to be one of the best in the state, and we plan on representing Kickapoo well.”
Goddard says he expects Frazier to finish top 10 in the state and lead this team to a state tournament berth this season.
“To finish top 10 in the state is going to take a lot of work, a lot of time, and a lot of guts. I've been training my whole high school career to finish that high at the state meet, and run thousands of miles with that dream in mind,” Frazier said. “I like to follow one of my training mottos: ‘Train like no one else, so you can race like no one else.’”
To qualify not only individuals, but also the team for state competition, the Chiefs will have to pass through some tough opponents. West Plains is consistently a tough team to beat on both the men’s and women’s sides and looks to be Kickapoo’s main competition. Also, according to Goddard, he is expecting Glendale to be another tough opponent.
Last season, the injury bug caught the men’s team at an inopportune time, costing them a state berth.
“Both teams have a chance to be very good if we stay healthy and continue to improve,” Goddard said.
The first competition for Kickapoo will be Sept. 1 at Lebanon in the Southwest Coaches Cross Country Association meet. There will be around 20 southwest Missouri teams of all sizes there competing.
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