Returning Database All-Team Rankings (Based on Average): 15th
Though the Mesa Mountain View Toros graduated a huge chunk of their squad from last season, they return with some new guys ready to take up the mantle. Matt Judd finished 10th in the D1 Boys' race last year and ran 9:42 for 3200m at the State Meet this past track season.
Will Holland, Kevin Degroff, and Jason Rodriguez were all very close to the 17-minute barrier last season, while both Joshua Judd and Kevin Degroff ran under 10:20 in the 3200 at the Desert Vista Last Chance Meet in April. The Toros aim to continue their winning streak at the Mesa City Meet but will have some tough competition out of the east valley.
Coach Ronnie Buchanan Says…
Who are your top returners?
We have two boys returning this year, Matthew Judd and Kevin DeGroff who raced on the State course last Fall. Currently, the rest of the Toro's are working diligently for varsity spots which makes it exciting and a fun environment to be in because it's always enjoyable to see new boys evolve and progress as runners.
Do you have any impact freshman or incoming transfers?
We have a couple freshmen including Connor Chaffee and David Judd who could make an impact for the team in the near future. It's too early to tell where they will finish up this season, but we know they are capable of learning and developing in this sport.
How have you built the Toro XC culture? Are there any traditions that stood the test of time?
When I first started coaching at Mountain View the culture was already established. The two coaches before me did an excellent job instilling in the athletes the value of hard work and setting the expectations high. Currently, at Mountain View we ask the kids to support and encourage each other during practice and meets. It can be something as simple as a fist bump or a positive word of encouragement. After every practice and before the gun goes off at a race the team joins together for a cheer when they say with enthusiasm "Toros Don't Quit". Also, the kids get together the night before every invitational to carbo-load and bond.
Left: The Toros will be looking to defend their City and Sectional Titles this fall. Catch them at Tumbleweed Park opening their season for the Chandler Invitational.
What advice do you give to any athlete who just ran the worst race of their career?
When an athlete has a dissatisfying race, we always let them know that one race doesn't define them and there's no need to look in the rear-view mirror; just keep looking forward. We provide support and positive feedback on what was done well and what could be adjusted and improved upon. We try to give them the belief that they can bounce back and respond better for the next race.
What's the most important thing you want young people to learn through running?
Our coaches believe the sport of running teaches you a lot about determination, discipline and dedication. The most important thing that we want young people to learn through running is to never give up when the tough gets going. With this attitude they can learn perseverance through the sport and apply that to everyday life situations.