Millerette CC runners start off-season training

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Elora Jones runs in front of Harper Barlow (left), Bri Abbott and Emily Schneider as the group began off-season training on Monday. The Millerettes concentrated on strength and conditioning and added a short run on the first day. (Photo by Chuck Reherman)

By Chuck Reherman
Sports Editor

When summer workouts were allowed to return, Yukon’s Millerette cross country coach Rod Zimmerman didn’t hesitate about getting his team back to a strength and conditioning program.

The Millerettes are expected to have one of their best teams in recent years with the entire varsity team returning and other runners looking to crack the top seven.

The team will hold voluntary workouts three days a week and Zimmerman said he has implemented safety measures to meet with the COVID-19 requirements.

He checked temperatures of each participant, which was followed by a required filling out of a questionnaire form. The runners had to remain six-feet apart while they went through the drills.

“Since the year has been so crazy and we do not have a girls summer strength and conditioning program this year I felt it was a good idea to offer some strength and conditioning time as we opened things back up,” Zimmerman said. “That is what we are focused on is strength and conditioning. There will be some running but we are focused on strength through bodyweight workouts, core work, plyometrics, and yoga.

“They need to be focused on those things primarily right now,” he said. We always want them running over the summer but the strength part can help them a lot with their running and can also help prevent injuries.”

The group works out on Monday, Wednesday and Thursday beginning at 9 a.m. He had 13 runners participate in the first workout and expects that number to grow as the summer progresses.

“Over the next few weeks I would like to see them get stronger,” Zimmerman said. “On July 15, we will start our pre-season cross country workouts. Hopefully these strength and conditioning workouts in small groups will help us get to open things up with full teams by then.

“If everything goes well maybe we can reach out and bring in the incoming freshman later on also, “ he added. “Right now it is just upperclassmen out. We didn’t want it to get to crazy until we get all of our procedures worked out and everyone is comfortable with us out there working out.”

When Zimmerman did hear that his team could begin a strength and conditioning program, he contacted his runners about starting and found out they were ready to go.

“These are 100-percent voluntary,” he said. “We reached out to the girls that ran with us last year to see who wanted to come out and what phases of the reopening they wanted to start in. These ladies wanted to get started.

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“I wouldn’t be surprised if a few more wanted to come out in a few weeks. We have them broken down into two different groups so a group of 7 and one of 6 those they will stay in these groups working out separately most of the summer.