Coming off of a state championship performance in the fall of 2019, the Corbin High School track and cross country program was poised to potentially make history again in the spring.
As we all now know, the track Hounds unfortunately never got that opportunity, but with a new fall sports season on the horizon, Coach Tyler Harris is eager to see what his team can accomplish once they are able to get back on the course.
“Coming off of the state championship, we obviously had a lot of momentum in some events that we haven’t always done exceptionally well in,” Harris said of the 2020 track-and-field season that never was. “We were all going in with high hopes, high expectations, and our training had been going really well.”
As for when he learned that his track athletes would not be able to compete in the spring, Harris said, “It was very unfortunate, but it is what it is. I hate that those kids lost their season. They were all going to have good chances to make names for themselves, and to earn a spot.”
Not being able to change the past, Harris and his Hounds are now laser focused on the upcoming fall cross country season, which, as of now, is still scheduled to proceed as normal.
“I feel really good,” Harris said of his team. “I’m not going to put the cart before the horse, but I love this group.
We graduated one senior off of the boys team that won at state last year, so if the other guys that ran in the state meet can continue to grow physically and mentally, I think they can be even better than they were before.”
Harris also expects to see big improvements on the girls’ side, saying, “Last year was a bit of a rebuilding year, but this year we should see a similar level of competition compared to our guys. I really feel like this could be the year for our girls to make that leap. There is no reason why they shouldn’t be a region contender.”
Of course, Harris and his staff are having to adjust to some new COVID-related guidelines at training sessions, which officially got underway earlier this week, but he said that, in general, it’s not going to be as difficult for cross country as it is for some other sports.
“Luckily, our sport lends itself to distancing anyway,” Harris explained. “There is also no equipment, and no ball, so as far as what we’re trying to accomplish in our practices, that will remain pretty much the same.”
Still, Harris said that extra precautions are being taken to make sure athletes are adequately separated while stretching, and large groupings are being avoided by working with limited numbers at a time.
Harris had been communicating with his team via online meetings leading up to the resumption of in-person training sessions this week, and now he, along with the entire athletic community in our state, is hoping that things will continue to trend towards a fall filled with games, matches, and of course, races.
The News Journal will continue to provide updates on all fall sports as they are made available by the KHSAA.