VASJ sophomore Zack Kohler, running in his first high school cross country event, finished 40th out of 101 runners at the Riverside Cross Country Kickoff Invitational.
Kohler finished in a personal best 21:36 as the Vikings’ lone runner.
VASJ has four runners out this fall – Kohler, Jordan Ellul, Austin Barnett and Roland Ivey. VASJ coach Raymon Reed has dubbed the group “The Fantastic Four” and has stressed that the 2020 season is about a lot more than times, places and wins.
“I’m coaching this year differently because the world we live in is much different. We are training and trying our best to represent and compete, but we are also focusing on the bigger picture. My job is to get these guys ready for a marathon not a sprint. A marathon of life. I want them to learn to be men, to be good people. That’s as important as any race we run,” Reed said.
Reed said there are life lessons he emphasizes daily with his team and is big on positive reinforcement messages throughout the week.
On the girls side, Jaida Bacchus returns and should begin competing soon for the Vikings.