Cross Country: Escape plan – Boyd runners head to Colorado to train for season

By Richard Greene | Published Wednesday, July 4, 2018
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Hitting the Road

HITTING THE ROAD – Boyd runners and cross country coach Oscar Hernandez will travel to Colorado to train for the upcoming season. Messenger photo by Joe Duty

Two years ago, Connor Richardson and his fellow Boyd Yellowjacket cross country teammates escaped the Texas heat for a week to train in the summer running nirvana of Colorado.

“It was a blast,” Richardson recalled. “We worked out twice a day. The weather is the biggest factor.”

The Yellowjackets used that trip in 2016 to fuel their march to regionals before making a state appearance last year. The Yellowjackets hope a journey to train in Colorado next week will lead to even more success this upcoming season. The Boyd runners and coach Oscar Hernandez leave for Colorado Saturday and will be gone through July 15.

“It’s seven days. The kids wanted to go longer,” Hernandez said. “It’s a good way to bond. The seniors can help the younger guys. It’s all about getting them to buy in. We’re trying to get back to state and somehow get on the podium.”

The Boyd boys return six of their top seven runners from last year’s team that finished eighth in 3A. Richardson took 18th at state, running 16:43 on the 5K course at Old Settlers Park in Round Rock. Tristan Lemasters was 37th in 17:06, Gauge Fahlin 49th in 17:21 and Lucas Loya 104th in 18:23.

“They’ve been working hard all summer,” Hernandez said.

Running in cooler weather, the Yellowjackets expect to turn the workouts up a notch in intensity after getting acclimated to the elevation.

“It’s 14 practices,” Lemasters said. “The first few days, you’re getting adjusted to the elevation.”

The team raised money for the trip by putting on meets and getting donations. The school district is allowing use of its vans for the trip.

The runners will be staying in a lodge in Boulder just meters from a trail they will use for some of their workouts. The week’s long run will be 8K on the famed Magnolia Road, where several elite runners from around the world have trained.

Senior Jasmine Hammett will be the lone Lady Yellowjacket to make the trip. She went two years ago and is looking forward to the journey.

“It’s a different venue to run at and you’re not dying in the humidity every day,” Hammett said. “You don’t realize the work you’re doing because you’re enjoying it.

“It’s my last year and I want to make it count.”

Richardson and Lemasters are taking a similar approach.

“It’s a great way to end our last year with coach and the team,” Richardson said. “It’ll be a good way to start on a positive note and go into the year with a lot of confidence.”

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