Fall Sports Preview: Camp forges focus, solidarity in Bruin runners

By Ryan Sparks, Curry Coastal Pilot August 19, 2014 09:27 pm

Members of the BHHS cross country team practice on Monday afternoon.

For the past five years, Brookings-Harbor High School cross country coach Terry Axel has been taking a group of BHHS cross country and track athletes to a camp in the Sierra Nevada mountains that is unlike a typical summer camp. 

From July 26 through Aug. 1 campers trained for the upcoming cross country season by competing against 68 other athletes in activities that tested their will and forged their solidarity.

“Camp definitely whipped us into shape,” said Lady Bruin senior Tristan Husted. “It was constant hills so it prepared us for anything we will be facing this season.”

Campers endured exercises such as a triathalon, tug-of-war and an “endless run” of more than 30 miles in elevations of 8,000 feet. 

The offseason work has prepared them for the season.

“This year, everyone was racing each other, determined to beat each other,” said Bruin senior Cody Enos, who competed against athletes from places such as Fresno, New York and Seattle at the camp. “Everyone on the team wants it. They showed it at running camp that they want to beat personal records and go to state this year.”

Both the Bruins and Lady Bruins cross country teams return several runners from teams that finished in the top four of their district last season.

“The desire is there,” said Axel about his current crop of athletes. “I can’t coach desire. They have to want to go where I want to take them. This group has that desire.”

“This year we are focused on staying healthy and getting better throughout the season because we all have the same goal of making it to state,” said Enos, who stated that the team has worked hard to keep each other motivated and push each other.

Both teams return top talent from last year’s squads. 

“With the athletes we have back, I’m really thinking we are going to be tough,” said Axel who has athletes such as Chris Burton, Kyllie Johnson, Husted and Enos to name a few.

The BHHS cross country team’s first meet is Sept. 10 at the North Bend Tugman Invitational at North Bend High School.