Sunday, November 23, 2014

Cyclones have different outlook

By Greg Mast/Herald Sports Editor | 10/30/2013

The Ottawa High School boys cross-country runners have a different outlook this time.

Last year, the Cyclones were happy to be at state and gain the experience. This year, Ottawa has something to prove.

The Ottawa High School boys cross-country runners have a different outlook this time.

Last year, the Cyclones were happy to be at state and gain the experience. This year, Ottawa has something to prove.

“This is the first group in 18 years that has gone back-to-back,” Ottawa coach Chris Kornhaus said. “We should continue to see what we have seen the past two weeks. The boys running really well as a group and running tough.”

Ottawa returned all seven runners from last year’s state team, but not all seven made the varsity squad with some new runners in the mix. One of those is senior Aaron Miller, but he is not new to state competition. He has competed at state the past two years for the track team.

Ottawa may have caught lightning in a bottle again by finishing strong.

“My plan is early in the year — those things are nice — medals and high team places, but the ultimate goal is to be ready the last three weeks,” Kornhaus said. “With this group, it is working. They seem to rise to the occasion.

“I know at the league meet we surprised people. I was really proud of them. They took care of business. They have been at this exact course and exact meet before. It ought to be OK.

“My message will be the same. We are not doing any major changes. We need to tweak what you are doing. May be a little more concentration.”

This group has dedicated themselves to each other and have accomplished the work.

“What it comes down to if you know truly in your heart that you have done the work — which these guys have done — you have the right to expect success and right to be confident,” Kornhaus said. “These guys are the ones that said let’s start earlier than we normally do.

“We are running as long as any basketball season. It has been a fine, fine group to work with.”

Ottawa has ran with the team concept all season.

“We don’t have any lone wolves,” Kornhaus said. “We have guys that run together. We have had the order finish a little different.

“What I like about it is we are not having any of those giant gaps. Somebody is filling in. In the overall picture, we look about the same.”

Which is good for state.

“That is the whole idea of the team concept is it can’t take you by surprise or shake you in anyway,” Kornhaus said.

“You have to have the confidence that today I have to go. Today it is on me.”

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