Cyclone of the Week: Coco takes initiative on the cross country team
Coco Kennedy was awarded Cyclone of the Week for her hard work and leadership on the cross country team.
Kennedy has been the top runner out of the seven scored runners for each race. At the Sonoma State Invitational, Kennedy passed a total of 27 runners in the six kilometer race; at mile three there were 23 runners in front, and at the finish the number dropped down to nine. Kennedy accomplished the largest passing margin a Mills cross country athlete has done this season.
Head coach Ivory Veale was impressed with Kennedy’s hard work and dedication; her running has rapidly improved from the beginning of this season.
“Kennedy has a fiery and aggressive attitude about performing and does not like to back down from a challenge,” Veale said. “She takes a leadership role on the team to motivate the other runners.”
Veale noted that Kennedy does not mind being pushed during practice. During each practice she is very aggressive and focused, which has contributed to her times constantly improving after every run. Veale also mentions how Kennedy is a positive teammate; she always smiles and encourages her teammates when a hard running session is about to start.
Kennedy transferred from Berkeley City College last semester and has not been on a team sport since her junior year of high school in 2011. She says that being on the cross country team has been rewarding. Since her beginning of this season, Kennedy is constantly learning how to improve her running technique.
“The meets are going well and I am learning what to work on,” Kennedy said.
In the midst of the season, Kennedy and Veale plan to ramp up her training to better prepare her for the upcoming meets. Due to her dramatic improvement in her races, Veale is going to have her train harder compared to what was originally planned. Kennedy hopes to establish consistency throughout all of her mile splits in the 6K race. For the remainder of the season, she is focusing to improve her time on the second mile of the 6K. By improving the second mile time, each of Kennedy’s mile times within the 6K stay consistent to future race times.
“I have a month left during this competition season and my goals are to train really hard and to know what I have to do in order to improve throughout the winter and the spring,” Kennedy said.
Kennedy’s teammate, Laura Schultz, says that she is one of the people that shows up most consistently for practice and is always positive. Shultz says that Kennedy’s commitment to cross country is strong despite being involved in all of her other activities.
“I am amazed at how well-rounded she is and how dedicated she is to training,” Shultz said.
Kennedy is happy to be named Cyclone of the Week and is looking forward to training harder for future meets.