On Thursday, September 26th, our team was sent out to Maroa-Forsyth High School to interview Mrs. Atherton about the Cross Country team. Being a coach is difficult, so we decided to ask her about this job.
By Gracelyn Frees, Malayna Ackerman, Nora Fisk, and Tessa Morr
The most difficult thing she has had to as a coach was handling discipline. Students who aren’t passing classes or have gotten into trouble are suspended from the team for the time being. Though, Mrs. Atherton has never had a top runner suspended. Convincing a runner that they can run for 3 miles is often one of the most difficult things to do. She is herself is a runner, and gained her passion after she had a daughter. She has run a marathon in almost every state except Hawaii, which is her next stop.
It has taken her 17 years to complete all of the marathons she has ran. Her personal favorite marathon is the Boston Marathon, in which she trained for months to get a qualifying time. During the summer, she trains with her students to build mileage. Workouts for the students start out slow, but build up mileage over time. They limit practices to an hour, within that hour, they run as much as they can. Mrs. Atherton is very comfortable with teaching and helping the team because of her running.
The Cross Country team had one girl make it to state and two boys have made it to sectionals. She’s had people that went on to run at Millikin University. The team is co-opted with Warrensburg so the team is fairly large. They will continue to work throughout the season!