Calera cross-country hopes to improve

By BAKER ELLIS / Sports Editor

The Calera High School cross-country program is still in its fledgling stage, only now in its fourth year. Current head coach Erin Golden has been in charge of both the boys and the girls program for the last three years, and while the team has not had great results in the past, Golden is in high hopes the culture of the program is progressing in a positive direction.

Calera competes in Section 2 of class 5A with Helena and Beauregard along with Sylacauga, Tallassee and Alexandria. Beauregard and Helena both dominated the boys section meet last season, while Helena and Alexandria took over the girls meet. In the boys meet, the top eight finishers were from one of those two schools, and the highest Calera athlete to place was Lucas Diaz, who came in at 22nd overall. The girls had better individual performances. Tamara Montes placed ninth overall in the section meet with a time of 23:16.08, but Golden said she can go as low as the mid to upper 20s.

While the Eagles had some impressive individual performances, Golden is focused on bringing the team along to a more competitive place this season.

“I definitely want us to be more competitive as a team,” she said. “I want us to have more team spirit and have stronger team finishes. It’s great to have individuals qualify for state, but I want us to be more team focused this season.”

On the boys side, there were no seniors on last season’s team and there will likely be none on this team either, Golden said. Diaz is a rising junior and will be the boys team captain on a young team that Golden believes has some true potential. Montes is a senior this season and is the girls team captain and will be responsible for helping bring the Lady Eagles to a more competitive place.

Both the boys and girls will start the season with a dual meet at Indian Springs on Sept. 12.