5 questions with The Woodlands High School Track Coach Juris Green; team ends season with two championships
THE WOODLANDS, Texas -- The Woodlands High School Track and Cross Country teams ended the season with a "double double," something that no high school in Texas has ever accomplished before.
Woodlands Online caught up over email with very busy Head Coach Juris Green about ending the season on the fast track and what he hopes to accomplish next year.
WOL: How does it feel to be state champs and set a national record?
JG: Winning state championships are always very special occasions that I, and my staff, do not take for granted. This one specifically is extremely special as what we accomplished has never been done by any high school in Texas- the double, double (cross country and track state champions for two years in a row.) The national record, believe it or not, was something we had been working for and had some expectation to achieve. It is not very often sprinters of this level are on the same campus, but we had them and made the most of their talents! Now they are a part of history.
WOL: What made this year’s team so special?
We were in a unique situation with what we were trying to accomplish. Because of this the entire team was focused on a day-to-day basis. When you have athletes with a lot of talent and a high work ethic great things can happen.
WOL: What challenges did the team face this year?
JG: No team gets through a season without challenges and we certainly had ours. Injury and illness are part of life; we certainly aren't immune from those things. Jake Lanier (a top Texas high school sprinter) injured his hamstring at Texas Relays in March. Therefore, we had to be very careful with him to balance recovery and maintain his fitness. Also DeAngelo Alexander arrived to school on the day we were leaving for the state meet with a 101-degree fever and an ear infection. We were not sure what was going to happen to our relay teams! A big thank you to our athletic trainers Charlotte LaVerne and Cody Dean for the great recovery plan for both Jake and DeAngelo. Without them we would not have had the success we had at the state meet.
WOL: What were the team’s keys to success?
JG: Our success this year was made possible because all of our event groups bought in to what we were trying to accomplish. Everyone worked hard. At the state meet we qualified enough events where we could ask for a little from each individual and not rely too heavily on one.
WOL: How do you sustain this level of success? You have a lot of graduating seniors this year…
JG: Every year we look to sustain a work ethic. The success that follows may or may not happen but that is not what makes us happy. Knowing the coaching staff put together great training plans that allow our kids to develop is what we try to do. Graduation is part of the high school experience. All of our sprinters at the state meet are graduating along with our distance runner. We have some talented athletes that are returning who will take on more responsibility over the next couple of years and keep The Woodlands competitive. Sprinting like we did this year was a once in a lifetime experience- 39.98 in the 4x100m (#5 All time in the US for a HS team) and a national record 4x200 1:23.25 was amazing.