Coyotes Continue To Strengthen Team Relationships

Returning AIA D2 Boys' Team Rankings (Based on Average): 2nd
Returning AIA D2 Girls' Team Rankings (Based on Average): 6th
Campo Verde have graduated Rylan Stubbs but return as competitive as ever and will look to make up the difference with a tighter spread. Kenny Edwards was their low-stick last year and is ranked as the no. 5 returner in the Arizona. Wyatt Hanson and Zac Whaley are two other guys who could finish among the top 15 boys in the D2 race at the AIA Cross Country State Championships.
Casteel got the better of them at the State Championships last year and they will continue to put up a challenge in the east valley, but the Coyotes know how to rally and you can never write off a team with a strong core group of seniors leading the charge.
Campo Verde girls aren't ranked as high as the boys but they apear to have some strong returning leadership in Kaitlyn Bowe and Sara Eltiste up front. Bowe is ranked 8th among returning D2 girls and she finished 14th in her race at the AIA Cross-Country State Championships. Meanwhile, Eltiste was the top freshman in the 800m and finished 7th in the D2 Girls' 800m State Championship.
Coach Josh Applebach Says...
Who are your top returners?
Top returners:
Boys - Kenny Edwards, Wyatt Hanson, Zac Whaley, Mac Jones
Girls - Sara Eltiste, Kaitlyn Bowe, Ellie Brooks
Who are your impact freshmen or incoming transfers?
Impact Freshmen:
Boys - Mitchell Jones, Wil Hanson
Girls - Mia Foley, Evie Tanella
How have you built Coyote XC culture?
Our culture has been built by our community, and we have simply continued to uphold its values: We honor hard work and the process of improving. We encourage "others-centered" behavior, and "fill buckets" after each workout. We make an effort to strengthen relationships.
Are there any traditions that have stood the test of time for you guys?
We always "fill buckets" after workouts, and we eat meals together. We always end our chants with a double clap and an "ahh..oooh!" Something we have been doing since we began in 2010.
What advice do you give to any athlete who just ran the worst race of their career?
We remind our student-athletes that they are not defined by a race. Coaches and athletes can unwittingly overemphasize the importance of a race, or the sport itself. I believe cross country is simply a medium in which students can grow socially, interpersonally, emotionally, physically, etc. Performing poorly in a race is simply a learning opportunity in which students can practice how they will overcome difficult times in life as an adult.
Hopefully us coaches, can help teach them appropriate responses to such times while they are young, so they can be resilient adults who deal with adversity well the rest of their lives. We also remind our student-athletes that there will be more opportunities to demonstrate their capacity to perform in the future. Athletes shouldn't hang on to the memory of a bad race for too long before mentally and emotionally resetting for the next one.
Have you set any goals as a team?
We have cancelled all formal team practices on Fridays, and are going to use that time for team building instead. Our goal is to continue to foster healthy relationships within our team. We want to represent our school well at each meet we attend, and earn as many awards as we can along the way. We were proud to have two Top-10 teams in November last year, and want to improve on our individual and team placements in November this year as well.