GCHS XC coach stresses team, family atmosphere

12/4/2012

GCHS XC coach stresses team, family atmosphere

GCHS XC coach stresses team, family atmosphere

By KEVIN THOMPSON

sports@gctelegram.com

Behind every successful team is a determined coach striving to get the most out of his or her athletes. As much as she likes to remain behind the scenes and give her runners all the credit, Garden City High School cross country coach Krista Linenberger gets her momentary spotlight after being selected The Telegram's Fall Sports Coach of the Year. The girls won the Wichita East regional title with 27 points, going 1-2-3 with the only three girls to run under 16 minutes. At the state meet at Rim Rock Farm in Lawrence, the Lady Buffaloes placed second with 100 points, just 11 points out of first. It was the first state team trophy in the history of the GCHS girls cross country program. Junior Alex Miller topped off a memorable fall season by placing second, something only one other Lady Buffalo has done, and that was in 1981. "They all came up big time," Linenberger said after that race. "If our 4-5 (Katy Doll, Maria Rodriguez) hadn't run that way, we could have finished all the way to sixth. It was just that close for second (100) to sixth (128). I thought they had it in them to do it, and a coach couldn't ask for any more. They were all very good with what their role was, and they fulfilled it. It's just great to see them be able to celebrate what they've worked so hard for." For Linenberger, the girls' feat was a product of their hard work, not her coaching. "A wise person once told me when I first started out as a coach is you're only as good as people around you, so that tells you right there that its certainly not anything that I've done," she said. "When you have tough kids, you can throw a lot at them and they can do a lot of things," she added. The group has matured over the past three years, she said, and they have developed the right mindset and right type of outlook on what it takes to be a top group at the 6A level. Delegating duties is one element Linenberger, now in her 17th year of coaching, said she has learned over the years to make a program work. A runner herself, Linenberger said she understands what the activity can do for an individual, but this year she had all her runners answer questionnaires to see what other aspects she might not know.

Behind every successful team is a determined coach striving to get the most out of his or her athletes. As much as she likes to remain behind the scenes and give her runners all the credit, Garden City High School cross country coach Krista Linenberger gets her momentary spotlight after being selected The Telegram's Fall Sports Coach of the Year. The girls won the Wichita East regional title with 27 points, going 1-2-3 with the only three girls to run under 16 minutes. At the state meet at Rim Rock Farm in Lawrence, the Lady Buffaloes placed second with 100 points, just 11 points out of first. It was the first state team trophy in the history of the GCHS girls cross country program. Junior Alex Miller topped off a memorable fall season by placing second, something only one other Lady Buffalo has done, and that was in 1981. "They all came up big time," Linenberger said after that race. "If our 4-5 (Katy Doll, Maria Rodriguez) hadn't run that way, we could have finished all the way to sixth. It was just that close for second (100) to sixth (128). I thought they had it in them to do it, and a coach couldn't ask for any more. They were all very good with what their role was, and they fulfilled it. It's just great to see them be able to celebrate what they've worked so hard for." For Linenberger, the girls' feat was a product of their hard work, not her coaching. "A wise person once told me when I first started out as a coach is you're only as good as people around you, so that tells you right there that its certainly not anything that I've done," she said. "When you have tough kids, you can throw a lot at them and they can do a lot of things," she added. The group has matured over the past three years, she said, and they have developed the right mindset and right type of outlook on what it takes to be a top group at the 6A level. Delegating duties is one element Linenberger, now in her 17th year of coaching, said she has learned over the years to make a program work. A runner herself, Linenberger said she understands what the activity can do for an individual, but this year she had all her runners answer questionnaires to see what other aspects she might not know.

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