If one were to purvey a normal cross-country practice or meet at Christian Heritage Academy (CHA) this fall, not much would appear different.
The day-to-day operations the team undertakes haven’t changed; the same expectations have been put on the runners.
This is because of the “Miller Method” — the long-standing approach of former – now assistant – coach of the team, Eric Miller — has remained in place after he surrendered the reigns last season. Miller’s former assistant Todd King took up the mantle and sees no changes being made to the team in the future.
“We are simply put, continuing ‘the Miller Method’ I learned from Coach Miller the past two seasons,” King said in a note to CHA. “Him and I are on the same page with regards to the philosophy, practice, and what is truly important win or loose.”
And the Knights have been thriving amid the subtle changes. In the season-opening meet Aug. 25, the middle school girls captured the first place trophy, as Piper Doughton finished the 3k race in second place with a 13:14.31. Hayden Hodges led the middle school boys with a 12:28.85, finishing in 13th place.
Cameron DeBoer finished the varsity boys 5k race in 33rd place with a final time of 22:29.60, with Ferguson Boone behind him at 23:09.88.
The second meet of the season, Knights Crossing, always brings the largest amount of runners during the cross-country season, and on Sept. 8, 2,452 came, representing 65 high schools and 57 middle schools.
“The goal is simply to try to improve ourselves and gain valuable experience,” King said of the meet, “and that is just what our XC team did…”
Piper Doughton found the top 60 in the middle school 3k race, while Gabe Lawrence finished the first among the boys in his first middle school race of the season.
Similarly, Knights Crossing was Evan Lawrence’s first varsity cross-country event of the season, where he notched the best 5k time recorded on the team thus far at 21:28.07. Lucas King, a third-grader, improved his 5k time for the third consecutive race to 23:32.03.
Christian Heritage’s most recent race came in the Westover Quad Sept. 11. On a complete onslaught to begin the season, the middle school girls captured first place honors again, with Autumn Pate, Piper Doughton and Teresa Jamison finishing first, second and third, respectively.
But finishing in the winner’s circle wasn’t only the middle school girls team — varsity boys also found first place honors, as Knights finished in third-through-sixth place with Evan Lawrence leading them at 20:30 in the 5k.
“…all our kids ran fantastic either way and I’m again very proud of everyone’s performance,” King said in closing.
The Knights next cross-country event will be a home meet, held on the campus of CHA Sept. 25. Events are scheduled to begin at 4:30 p.m.