Tom Smart, Deseret Morning News
The Millard girls cross country team won a state championship by unseating North Sevier.

When Millard unseated North Sevier as the 2A girls cross country champs this year, it was truly a coordinated effort not only by the runners themselves but by three coaches who worked together in cooperation to prepare the Eagles for the championship meet.

Cody Moat and Pete Anderson worked in tandem in various aspects of cross country training. But soccer coach George Richardson played a vital role in allowing seven girls from his team to participate in both sports.

"I have to give credit to him (Richardson)," said Moat. "It's really a fine line with athletes when there is a second sport."

Richardson agreed that the conditioning derived from cross country would serve his soccer players well. A schedule was worked out in which the seven girls involved could practice in both sports.

Moat said there was a fine line between the two sports.

"You have to be careful," he said, "There were days the girls would be sore."

Some days Moat would work on speed training and others on distance training.

"But we didn't put on any extreme miles," he said.

The coach estimated that three to five miles running per day was the most the girls ever trained. And that worked well.

"These girls peaked just when they needed to," he said.

The biggest challenge, according to Moat, was the conflict between soccer matches and cross country meets. They solved that problem by scheduling several meets up north in Utah County. They even defeated a few larger schools at those meets.

"That was one of the best things we did," he said.

The Eagles will lose four girls to graduation. Kylie Labrum, Whitney Holding, Katie Camp and Megan Chatland will be gone next year. But returning will be Shelli Richardson, who placed fourth at state this year, and Stevie Cook who placed eighth.

"We're losing some good girls," said Moat, "but we have some good girls coming up."

He said the team was deep this year and not all the girls could run at the state meet.

"It will take some rebuilding," he said, "but I think we can get there."


E-mail: [email protected]