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All-County Cross Country 2010: Walter keeps Warriors running

December 08, 2010|By ANDREW MASON | andrewm@herald-mail.com
  • Becky Walter, Boonsboro coach
Becky Walter, Boonsboro coach

Becky Walter tries to get the most out of her Boonsboro runners, and they try to get the most out of their coach.

On Nov. 20, a week after both her boys and girls teams competed at the Maryland state cross country meet, Walter ran the JFK 50 Mile ultramarathon for the fourth time, recording a personal-best time of 9 hours, 48 minutes, 28 seconds.

This year she was pushed along by several of the Warriors, who took turns running parts of the race with her.

"I knew I couldn't slow down or whine because I'd never hear the end of it from them," she said.

Walter, who expects the same from her athletes, is The Herald-Mail's 2010 Washington County Cross Country Coach of the Year.

Boonsboro was the only county school to advance both its girls and boys teams to states, a feat the Warriors hadn't done in nine years. The boys team also was the county runner-up, while the girls team, which hadn't been to states in six years, was led by county champion Sarah Zielinski.

"It was a great season," Walter said. "It was sad to see it come to an end."

The Warriors, who had 18 boys and 20 girls in the program this fall, have come a long way in Walter's four seasons as head coach.

"My first year as an assistant coach (in 2006), we had five boys on the team and were begging kids to come run," she said.

The key has been "making it fun and keeping things interesting," Walter said. "If they show up and run the same thing every day, they're going to get bored with it and not have any fun.

"And we like to do things together, have team dinners. The kids are like a big family. They're always hanging out together. In fact, I have such a good group that they gave up part of a Saturday to come run JFK with me."

"She's a good inspiration for everybody," Zielinski said. "I mean, she ran the JFK, and we're just like, 'Go, Coach.'"

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