Learn more about new Macks Creek cross country and track and field coach Paige Alexander

Macks Creek will begin the next school year with a new leader at the helm of its cross country and track and field programs.

Here is what new coach Paige Alexander had to say about her new role with the Pirates:

Q: Are there any specific reasons why you were compelled to lead the programs at Macks Creek and do you have any past ties with the school?

A: What really drew me to Macks Creek was the freshness of the cross country program and the opportunity to expand into the area of track. With just one year, Macks Creek already sent one runner to state and that was really exciting to hear about the great potential this district has in both cross country and track. The only ties I've previously had with Macks Creek was playing against the Pirates in basketball and softball as a Richland graduate.

Q: Can you briefly summarize your background and what made you want to be a coach in the first place? Is there anything you especially love about cross country and track?

A: I enjoy motivating and pushing athletes beyond their comfort level to accomplish something they never thought was possible. That personal growth as a young adult and an athlete that comes from being pushed is what drew me to the career of coaching.

My coaching background comes with four years as an assistant XC coach and now I am embarking on my second year as a head XC coach and first year as a head track coach. As an athlete myself with a history in basketball and softball, the thought of coaching XC or track never crossed my mind until my first coaching opportunity came around and now it's become a huge part of my life. What I love about XC is the mental and physical toughness that it takes to be an endurance runner and I am really excited about the diversity of athletes and events that track will offer.

Q: Taking over a new program, do you have a philosophy or certain set of expectations for your athletes? At the same time, what does it take to be a good coach and leader of a program?

A: Taking over a new program is really exciting because it allows you to bring in fresh, new ideas and training concepts because there is no history of set expectations that athletes already have. My philosophy and expectations for both of the programs is for athletes to constantly strive to better themselves and always push for that next PR (personal record.) As long as I have kids who are showing up, working hard, have a great attitude, and setting new goals I will be one happy coach.

I expect a lot of time and dedication from my athletes and that is something I'm prepared to give them in return. I am there to push, train and motivate the kids but I also want them to enjoy coming to practices and being a part of our team/family atmosphere.

Q: Do you have any overall impressions of your new group so far and are there any definite strengths or things to improve at this point in time?

A: So far I have only gotten to really meet the XC kids, but we have had the chance to meet at the end of the last school year as well as our three day summer camp and weekly summer workouts. It has me really excited for the upcoming season.

I have a great group of kids who have already been showing up and working hard over the span of the summer and that is exciting as a coach to see. These kids were really proud of their accomplishments from last season and already have new goals for the upcoming season they are training for. There is always something to improve on as an athlete and for XC and track that is PRs, so that is something we will constantly be striving for.

Q: With new seasons just around the corner, are there any specific goals or keys to success?

A: Our big team goal for XC will be an increase in the number of athletes on our team and growing the program to be able to enter both full boys and girls teams and to send multiple athletes to state this year. The big goal in track will be to enter more events through growth of the program and sending athletes to state as well. Creating that fun, family atmosphere will hopefully bring more kids to the programs and getting kids to state will come with practice, time, motivation and hard work.