The McDonell boys cross country team finished fourth at state last season. With many of their key runners back, the Macks look to make a run for the state title. SportScene13's Jenn Chapman discovered some of their secrets to success.
"They do what they're ask to do and a lot of guys do more than they're asked to do. Sometimes that's a good problem to have, to have guys that you have to hold back," says McDonell head coach, Marty Bushland, "so we're just lucky to have a bunch of kids that enjoy running."
Part of the Macks positive experience in enduring the pain of running is through workouts on their secret trail system along the Chippewa River bank.
"There's a lot of physiological advantages that we get from running here in the woods and on the trails and the distance that we're putting in, being on soft surfaces," adds Marty. "And then the kids get to cool off and work on recovery as soon as possible."
From secret trail runs to secret post workouts, McDonell is ready for 2013.
"Like new places to see instead of just running around the school all the time which we get used to in the season, this is something different for us," says senior, Tyler Baier. "It's really hot but it's nice to get to jump in the water afterwards. Kind of a team bonding thing too."
The team is led by two seniors who finished in the top 10 at state last year. Nick Zander and Grant Pulver know they'll need their pack to follow close behind.
"We're all gonna have to run well and train hard the whole year and hopefully at the end of the year we'll all peak at the right time," says Zander.
"We do a lot of the little things right, we do our core work, we eat healthy and as a team aspect we're always chasing someone so we work together. We build off each other," adds Pulver
The season is just beginning, but the team goal is clear.
"I think if we stay healthy we'll be in good shape. The kids are in good shape now but we don't want to be in our best shape until Nov 2nd," says Bushland.