WOOD-RIDGE, NJ - Starting a new team in a school, has to be easy, right? I mean nobody to tell “We used to do it this way.” or longing for the “old” coach.
Even in the best situations it takes to time to build a program. Not only do you need to get the participants out to the team, you need to get them ready to compete, both physically and mentally.
Wood-Ridge Cross-Country coach Quinn Geraghty, in his first year of coaching, is also growing with his program. The former Bogota High School and Ramapo College cross-country runner is taking on the challenge of fielding Wood-Ridge’s first cross-country team since 1995 with a realistic, but optimistic approach in mind.
“We are hoping to get more students out for the teams (boys and girls) by the time school starts,” Geraghty stated. “I want to see if I can get a few more runners from just seeing kids in the hallways and talking to them. And I want the kids we have out now to come talk to their friends and convince them that they want to run.”
“I am trying to get them ready for competition, and keep it fun” Geraghty said. “So far I have seen improvement during training, and hope to continue to grow the program so that we can contend in a few years.”
With eight boys and two girls on the rosters prior to start of school, Wood-Ridge has a base for the program to grow. The boys team consists of three juniors, four sophomores and one freshman. Geraghty plans on starting the team off slowly, entering them in the junior varsity division the first few meets, before stepping them up to the varsity level.
“I want to get them some experience as a team, “ Geraghty said. “But I also don’t want to overwhelm them right off the bat. “
With just two girls, he is hoping on word of mouth to help the team grow. Still, they will run as individuals in the races to gain valuable experience.
Geraghty is realistic about where the program is, and what his role is.
“I really want to the kids to have some fun while they are exposed to running,” said Geraghty. “It is a great sport and the want them to learn and enjoy the experience.
Simon Santamaria (Jr.), Angel Laynez (So), Thomas Perez (So.) Angel Espinoza (Jr.) Gerhig Dwyer (So.), Andre Lazo (So.), Marc Altamura (Jr.) and Nigel Botlando (Jr.)
Christina Vasquez (Sr.), Callie Negro (Jr.)