By Tony Adams
The Belton Lady Tigers cross country team is on the run. And it’s a great thing.
The team, anchored by senior Macy Banfield and junior Katey Hatter, looks to be in great shape in conditioning for a long run through the fall.
“I’m very excited,” said Belton Lady Tigers cross-country coach Holly Lamberte. “We have 45 girls right now and have been out running since July. We’ve been doing just distance running. We’re now going to start working on speed and hills.”
The Lady Tigers return a very young team with vast experience. That experience will help Belton through initial pre-district meets. Especially with the first regular season meet being held at the Wildflower Country Club in Temple.
“The first two miles are flat,” said Lamberte. “The third mile includes two good size hills. We’ve been training over there for three weeks. Hopefully, that will give us an advantage. It’s a new course there. So no one knows exactly what the new course will look like. Strategically, we’ve been running the hills. So that should help.”
Banfield and Hatter are two of the lynch pins to the success of the Lady Tigers.
“Macy (Banfield) has always been a real good team leader,” said Lamberte. “Katey (Hatter) has always been a strong runner. Kaitlyn Huckabee and Breanna Barber are strong runners.”
The incoming freshmen runners have Lamberte beaming from ear-to-ear.
“I’m excited about the freshmen coming in,” said Lamberte. “With Olivia Holden and Brook Gilmore that are here and are running just as good as my experienced runners. We have a lot of depth and I am extremely excited about what we have this year.”
The girls will be running the Vern’s No Frill practice 5K in Georgetown on Saturday before their season kicks off at Wildflower on Thurs, Aug. 29. The schedule takes the team through Midway, Pflugerville, Lubbock, Brenham, Harker Heights, Georgetown and The Woodlands before returning to Midway for the District 8-5A Meet Oct. 23. Regionals and State Meets be held in November.
“This year we’re extremely rounded,” said Lamberte. “We’ve taken them to Town Lake to run the trails and show the girls that there are other girls that do this for life. The girls have to enjoy running before they can compete, race and do well.”