CHURCHILL — As many teams in the Gallatin Valley know, the weather hasn’t spared any of the spring sports trying to start their seasons. The Manhattan Christian Eagles were no exception.
“We had three feet of snow on our track,” head coach Kevin Germann said, “so we started out our season running slower than a one-handed potato picker.”
And while a lot people were probably feeling this way, not many boys teams have the weapons the Eagles possess: members of the 2018 cross country state champion squad, the first-place finisher, and the third-place finisher. And winning always provides a little motivation.
“It’s really a big confidence boost to have won something,” said Riley Schott, the 2018 Class C cross country state champion. “It really gives you a better mental outlook, like, you already performed well earlier in the year.”
“It’s really neat to step into a situation and coach some of these kids,” Germann said. “Inheriting these wonderful boys is awesome, it’s easy coaching.”
But the obvious difference between the two sports is the distance. The cross country course is a little more than three miles, whereas in track, the longest race is two miles. So how does running cross country help track season?
“It really gives you a lot: mentally, it helps physically, too, even though the seasons aren’t right next to each other,” Schott said. “The cross (country) season is a good way to warm up, I guess, for indoor track and later outdoor track.”
There’s no doubt with their stacked roster the Manhattan Christian boys will have success, but it’s not necessarily because of their speed.
“I think the reason why we’re so successful is because we have a good group of guys, because they train together. It’s hard to go out on your own and train, but these guys work together, they love each other, support one another, and it’s a really cool team to coach,” Germann said.
Now that spring seems to have arrived, Germann has already seen a change in his squad
“We’ve been able to stop by Churchill Equipment and get a twin turbo diesel engine tractor and now we’re ready to start running fast,” he finished.
Now they’re picking potatoes with two hands.