High School Sports

New girls Althoff coach fields a ‘small but talented’ team

After establishing the Crusaders cross country program, Mike Sanders is now taking the reins with the Althoff girls track and field team this spring.

Sanders served as an assistant coach for one year under former coach Roscoe Whitfield, working primarily with the distance runners.

“It’s really not that hard of an adjustment. The science of coaching different disciplines is the fascinating and challenging part, but the art of coaching is the best part,” Sanders said.

“I love that I get to coach these girls. We have recently implemented into the sporting programs sharing about a different virtue every week as it let’s us not just focus on performance of an athletic event, but allows us to focus on the need to be there for each other when we fail or succeed ... these virtues guide us in developing character which will develop a good person.’’

Sanders has what he calls a “small but talented squad.”

Epiphany Smith leads the way in the sprints and posted a personal best time of 8.24 seconds indoors while also doing well in the 200 meters. Smith will also be a key on the Crusaders 400- and 800-meter relay teams. Addie Burris, a 400 meter runner, posted a time of 1:05.86 indoors.

High jumper Elizabeth Harla cleared 4-feet-8-inches in her first indoor meet and could contend for a berth in the Class 1A state meet by the end of the season, while Claire Hill has already posted a time of 6:24 in the 1,600 meters.

Jazmine Brown headlines a young group in the throwing events.

“Right now, we are just finishing up our indoor season and it has been very good to see the girls condition through this phase of training,” Sanders said. “The relays look great for so early and they will only improve as we move forward. It will certainly pay off in the outdoor season.

“My philosophy for coaching is pretty simple: We are to glorify God in what we do, focus on doing our best, and to have fun. With this focus, the team has established a few goals and we look like we are right on target. Hopefully, we will see a few of these young ladies at state but if not, then they will certainly know that they gave it their best.”