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Hello parents, my name is Chris Hathaway, and this will be my third season coaching the Guardian Angels Cross Country team. We went from a pandemic-shortened 2020 season with only eight total runners competing in only four meets to a 15-member team competing in eight meets in 2021. Eleven of the fifteen athletes achieved their PR (personal record) times during the last meets of the year and of the athletes that have been on the team for both seasons, all have improved their times between 1 to 3 minutes. The goal is to continue to grow our Cross Country program both in size and achievement in 2022.
While distance running can be a daunting activity for anyone young or old, my philosophy is that we were all born to run going back hundreds of years before our modern conveniences and fancy cushioned running shoes, and children know this better than any of us! One need to only observe pick-up time as school gets out at Guardian Angels to see the joyful kids chasing one another around the parking lot. As a coach, I certainly want the athletes to improve over the course of the season and have success, but most of all I want them to enjoy the experience, become friends with their teammates and have fun. That why, as our “veteran” runners can attest, I mix in fun games during practice such as “Coaches Dumb Decathlon,” “Sticker Relays,” “Sharks & Minnows” and “The Cone Game”.
I myself have been a life-long runner starting with my grade school days as a miler at St. Joan of Arc. In High School at Harper Woods Notre Dame, I was fortunate to have two legendary coaches. The first being the late Conrad Vachon and then Keith Hanson of Hanson’s Running. We had tremendous teams my 4 years, winning Regionals multiple times and competing in 4 State Championship races. My junior and senior seasons I achieved All-Catholic League and All-Regional honors. I moved on to Aquinas College and competed on the Track and Cross-Country teams for one season. I continue to run, much slower, to this day.
My wife Karen and I live in Warren with our son Garrett, a seventh grader at GA, daughter Ainsley, who is in fourth grade, and our two exceptionally large dogs Jasper and Shadow that should be in school but spend most of their time sleeping.