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Prep Cross Country Notepad: Brooks eases Chargers’ workload

The Chancellor cross country team is taking the slow and steady approach.

Head coach Nate Brooks elected to place his team in just one major meet this month. The Chargers hosted the Chancellor Invitational on Sept. 1.

Since then, it’s been tri-meets on Wednesdays. Chancellor won’t participate in another major event until Oct. 6 at The Plains.

As a former standout runner at Caroline, Hampton University and Mary Washington, Brooks said he learned how difficult it is to balance major meets with academics early in the school year.

“I know it’s tough from a student standpoint to take care of your projects and different things when you get home at 8 or 8:30,” Brooks said. “I realize as a coach when you have meets every Wednesday and Saturday, it’s also hard to get quality workouts in. You don’t want to wear the kids out early. It’s all about the end of the season, making sure they peak at the right time.”

Instead of placing the Chargers in a bunch of meets, Brooks said he has used the early part of the season to teach them about proper stretching techniques, nutrition and other ways to take care of their bodies.

The Chargers have found time to compete, but on a smaller scale.

Their girls won a tri-meet last week against Courtland and James Monroe. Their boys placed second in the same meet.

Freshman Madeline Amos has led the way for the girls. She has already earned one of the top 15 times in school history.

“She has a lot of heart,” Brooks said. “She also holds herself accountable, and that’s rare for a freshman.”

Hannah Sharp and Alana Collins have also started strong.

On the boys’ side, Travis Hinton, Dalton Hedrick and Neil Schubel have been the top three runners. Brooks said that trio is pushing other athletes on the team to step up.

“Cross country is a team sport,” Brooks said. “And they’re trying to pull the rest of the team along.”

Chancellor will participate in a tri-meet Wednesday at Eastern View.

—Taft Coghill Jr.