A Marathon of Preparation and Success

Photo retrieved from https://www.lynchburgsports.com/sports/track/coaches/Jim_Sprecher?view=bio.

William Masselli ~ Sports Columnist

     Director of the University of Lynchburg Men and Women’s Cross-Country Track and Field James Sprecher will speak at the U.S. Track and Field and Cross-Country Coaches Association’s Technical Symposium Series.

Sprecher said, “It is a great honor to represent the University of Lynchburg on the national stage. It is an opportunity to sell our program, our institution, and the ODAC with a national audience. As a NCAA Division III coach, it is nice to share the stage with the best coaches and programs in the country. From a recruiting standpoint it always helps to put your name and program out there for others to see.”

     Coach Sprecher’s players and his staff have been keeping up with other speakers involved in the series despite the pay-per view format. Sprecher said, “Part of my presentation will talk about some of the successful changes we have seen in the age of COVID 19. I hope that others can find inspiration and success during this time of uncertainty.”

    Even with the pandemic, the holiday break will be a short one for the track and field team as they prepare for the spring season.  Sam Llaneza who is a member of the men’s track and field team said, “We plan on spending some time with our families and then get right back on the grind. We are hoping to meet up some days in the winter to train together as much as possible but our main goal is to be fit when January comes around.”  

     Llaneza said, “This is probably the proudest I have been of the team. We are all really dedicated and have worked hard even though our season was taken away from us. We are doing really well and the depth on our team is the best it has ever been. The Hornet Cups have been great to show where we have improved and all of our coaches have done a great job on setting those up and also giving us the perfect training to make us do well.”

     Head Coach of the University of Lynchburg Men and Women’s Cross-Country Jake Reed is adamant that his program will continue to enjoy prolonged success. Reed said, “With this being, championship level program, not a participatory model the work will get done one way or another. Whether we have the opportunity to practice together, or whether they are forced to practice on their own the expectation/format does not change.” 

     He continued, “It is more of a question of what is the experience like overall. The experience definitely changes especially for events like the Hornet Cup. In keeping with the Covid protocols, it is hard to invoke the same energy and emotions with social distancing measures/mask policies. Interaction is a little more limited but the excitement internally is the same when you see a huge PR pop up on the clock as you finish your race.” 

     Reed also said, “Our athletes have done a tremendous job staying positive and enjoying/focusing on what we are able to do. The Hornet Cup for us was just a small piece to a bigger series; one of many time trials we planned as a team. The time trials are extremely rewarding as it allows our athletes to see the fruit of all their hard work. We have had so many amazing performances and from a training/performance perspective, this time is somewhat of a blessing. It has allowed us huge blocks of uninterrupted training; which is where the real physical growth occurs. They have truly begun to raise the bar to a whole new level. It is going to be something special for this group on the other side.”

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