Coyotes Are Fired Up To Run As A Band Of Brothers

Returning Database All-Team Rankings: 12th
Returning AIA D1 Team Rankings: 6th
2018 AIA CC State Championship D1 Boys' Finish: 14th
Last fall, the Skyline boys opened with a fantastic showing at the Peaks Invite where they won the Ascent race. Throughout their season, the Coyotes racked up several runner-up finishes at meets like Fountain Hills, and Juan Reyes. Later in the season, they handily won the Glendale Showcase and then placed second at the Mesa City Meet behind the Mountain View Toros by just four points. Though Skyline graduated a four of their top varsity from last year, the Coyotes have a solid group of seasoned veterans hoping to vie for a top five finish among D1 Boys at the State Championships. It's gonna be up to Tatum Jelleberg and Jacob Doest to step it up and pull the underclassman along at a strong pace this year to be competitive against their city and section rivals in Mesa.

Coach Mike Roelofs Says…

Who are your top returners?
Our top two runners (Tatum Jelleburg and Jacob Doest) are who cracked the top-ten of All-Time list of 5km in school history. Both of them are ready to go as seniors. Jaxon Mills is also returning, but Kaden Knopp moved to Florida and we've had to replace our bottom four.
Do you have any impact freshman or transfers?
We have some very talented freshman but they have some work to do before they get to the varsity level.
What are the basic tenants of you coaching philosophy?
We want to put the team first. We talk about being a band of brothers and if they develop a positive relationship with each other, then that'll show in the meets. When the race gets hard, they'll be willing to dial in for their teammates and for their brothers.
What kind of mileage are you guys doing and what has been the focus of the current phase of your training?
We've been focusing on base-building for now. We hit tempo and do some pace work, long runs and recovery days. As far as mileage goes, going high mileage can turn them into great high school runners but I don't want them getting to a point where they burn out or have no other ceiling to reach.
(Left: Tatum Jelleburg finished 8th at the Fountain Hills Invitational last year. - photo by Harold Smith)
What meets are you keying in on this season?
We're going to Peaks. We go to Fountain Hills after that. Then Woodbridge and then Twilight. We'll run at the Glendale Showcase. After that it's City, Sectionals, and State for us.
How have you built cross country culture?
We've always valued hard-work and toughness. Without that not a lot is possible. As far as traditions, we've carried on team dinners and camps. Every summer before school starts on a Friday, we take the kids up to Flagstaff or Sedona for the day have them run at altitude and then take them swimming in the creeks and rivers around northern Arizona. The boys also have a team chant that gets them fired up before every race. It's pretty cool to watch considering that it's been around since before I was a coach.