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The Fountain Hills High School Cross Country team is back under the guidance of a new coach this season, but this coach isn’t really new to the world of Fountain Hills running.

Nick Goodman is the FHHS track and field head coach and, while he’ll still be serving in that role this year, he has also taken on the duties of being the cross country head coach.

Goodman said he believes that by being in both roles he will be able to get to know his athletes even better.

“As a result, I can coach and motivate them individually to help them reach their goals,” Goodman said. “This also helps the athletes to get to know me and my coaching philosophies and style to a greater degree. Most people, especially young athletes, need consistency. Having consistent coaching from cross country to track and field will be a great asset for the teams.”

The FHHS cross country team has 12 runners this season with a majority of them being underclassman. Goodman said he has a different goal for his upperclassmen runners and his underclassmen runners.

“My goal for the upperclassmen is to provide a fun and challenging season to finish off their high school career,” Goodman said. “Each of them has individual goals for the season that we are always working toward. My goal for the many freshmen on the team is to build up their strength and endurance, as well as confidence, so that by their junior and senior years we will have one of the most competitive teams in the state.”

One upperclassman to keep an eye this season is javelin state champion Stephanie Lies, Goodman says, but he also believes that everyone on his team has the potential to succeed this season.

“As a coach, I have learned that if an individual athlete has the desire to be good they usually can get there,” Goodman said. “Every one of the cross country athletes this year has the desire to be excellent and I am confident all of them will achieve their goals.”

Goodman is trying to give his runners as many opportunities to reach those goals.

“This season I wanted to have the team compete at some of the races they have done in the past, yet expose them to totally new courses and teams to race against,” Goodman continued. “Our big meets this year include the Fountain Hills Invitational, the Woodbridge Classic in California and some new events in Prescott and Tucson.”

Scottsdale Prep

Sept. 4 was a hot day at the Scottsdale Sports Complex so Goodman had to switch his initial plan during the Falcons’ first meet of the season.

“This was a very hot race with the temperature around 110 degrees,” Goodman said. “My team was instructed to run a little bit easier than planned due to the hot conditions. Although the conditions were not ideal for fast racing, all of the Fountain Hills students executed well and finished strong.”

The final results were unavailable as of press time but Goodman said he knew that the Falcons’ top runner was Tyler Cosman, who finished in 21st position.

The cross country team’s next meet will be on Saturday, Sept. 14, it will be a home meet at Fountain Park beginning at 7:30 a.m.