Lizarraga Steps Up To Lead Wolfpack


Though the wolfpack had an enormous graduating class this year that included speed demon Morgan Foster, there is no doubt that Chandler will continue as a mid-distance powerhouse. Leonela Lizzaraga and Ava Potts have both run under 5:20 for the 1600m and will return as the Wolfpack's top milers. Meanwhile Brooke Eversden has been training well and could aid the Wolves in picking off some more places at Cave Creek, come November. They have a lot of room to fill with several newcomers, but they've proven that they can throw down with the best teams in the State.
Coach Lincoln Says…
Who are your top returners?
Leonela Lizarraga, Ava Potts, Brooke Eversden and Sarah Plant all broke 20-minutes last year.
Gabe and Gunner Garcia are gonna' lead this season and we've had a few guys step up over the summer.
Do you have any impact freshman or incoming transfers?
On the boys' side we have eleven new freshman I don't know if we have a ton of impact talent but we're hoping that we see a few of them step up this season.
There are only two new freshman girls from Anderson MS. One of them, Lauren Kazaross, ran for the Arizona Cheetahs and has a 2:26 PR for the 800m.
What meets are you keying in on this year?
Twilight and the Santa Clarita Invitational in California, and after that it's pretty much City, Sectionals, and State.
(Potts and Lizarraga [585] finished less than a second apart in the D1 Girls 1600m at the AIA Track and Field State Championships - photo by Harold Smith) 
How have you built Wolfpack XC culture during your time at Chandler? Are there any traditions that have stood the test of time for you guys?
We had thirteen kids out for distance track and then last year we had fifty. I just went around campus and if a kid seemed athletic, I would ask them to come out. I think it's about trying to keep a fun atmosphere and getting them to want to stick around. The biggest traditions are the team pasta parties with different families bringing food with the host family providing pasta.
A yearly trip to California is big for us and we try to go to different meets in California, not just the same one year after year. We've gone to Cool Breezes, and the So Cal Invitational at Oceanside as well. For us it's probably the most anticipated meet of the year, knowing what we get to do before and after the meet. Other years, we've walked the boardwalk at Oceanside. This year we'll go to Santa Clarita and then Magic Mountain afterward.
What advice do you give to any athlete who just ran the worst race of their career?
Put it behind you. Tomorrow's a new day. Don't dwell on it just come out tomorrow and continue to work hard so that it doesn't happen again. If you can stand in front of the mirror and honestly be proud of the way you've worked there shouldn't be any doubt in the results you'll get.
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