Returning Database All-Team Rankings (Based on Average): 17th
Returning AIA D2 Team Rankings (Based on Average): 5th
The Rincon University Rangers ambitiously return the majority of last year's varsity, and are eager to challenge the top teams in the State. Grace Driskill, Emma Francone and Kharra Schwabe return as a solid nucleus for the RU program, having all finished top fifteen in the D2 Girls' race at the AIA Cross-Country State Championships.
(Kharra Shwabe [left] and Emma Francone [right] finished 2nd and 1st respectively in their section race at Rio Rico last October.-photo by John Hays)
Additionally, Grace Driskill is the only D2 girl to beat Hana Hall in the past twelve months. If she can put up a similar challenge against Hall over Cave Creek then it could yield dividends for the Rangers' bid for a Runner-Up finish, if not a State Title.
There are several big gaps that they'll have to close in order to prove formidable against the top D2 teams. RU have enough pull up at the front to make it to the State meet. If they remain consistent and push their 4-7 girls to compete with the rest of the field, they could be a possible darkhorse team for the D2 Girls' team podium.
Coach Pratt Says...
Who are your top returners?
We have 7 of our 8 varsity girls returning this year.The top 3 are:
- Grace Driskill - Senior (2018 DII State XC 9th place, 2019 DII Track State Champion in 1600/3200, 3rd in 800)
- Emma Francone - Sophomore (2018 DII State XC 6th place)
- Kharra Schwabe - Junior (2018 DII State XC 15th place)
Do you have any impact freshman or transfers?
I have not had the opportunity to see all the incoming freshman yet. The girls who have been to preseason and look the most promising are Claire West and Viviana Portillo.
What kind of mileage are you guys doing and what has been the focus of the current phase of training?
Our mileage range is from 15 to 40 miles a week depending on the runner. The younger/new girls are running 15-20. Our core varsity girls are running 30-35 and the top varsity girls 35-40.
Our focus right now is base/foundation building. Our younger/new girls are introduced to our practice structure and the different drills/exercises we do as part of our training. We are emphasizing overall conditioning also during this phase (see below).
Do you engage the Rangers in supplementary training (plyometrics, calisthenics, weight-lifting) and if so, could you describe a typical routine outside of running?
I have introduced a conditioning circuit this preseason. The circuit consists of: body weight and flexibility exercises, core work, and shorter runs. The girls find it challenging and have asked me to include it in our training for this season.
What meets are you keying in on this year?
The invitationals we are emphasizing this year are: Desert Solstice, Doug Conley and Nike Desert Twilight. Our overall season focus is directed at Sectionals and State.
Have you set any goals as a team?
Our team goals are:
- Top 3 finish at Desert Solstice
- Top 5 finish at Doug Conley
- Girls varsity running in Sweepstakes race at Nike Desert Twilight
- Sectional Champions
Top 3 finish at State DII