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ASHEVILLE, NC (September 26, 2012) For the past few years, Randy Ashley’s Cross Country teams at Asheville School have surprised their competition with strong finishes. This year, however, Ashley's talented Blues runners have risen to the top of the rankings, with the Asheville School boys ranked third among all schools in NC and first in the NCISAA conference. The girls' cross country team is ranked sixth in the NCISAA conference.
On Saturday, September 22, senior Ben Fiedler won the Hare and Hound cross country meet at McAlpine Park in Charlotte, finishing the 5K with a time of 16 minutes, 2 seconds. Click here for more information.
And while coach Ashley's runners continue to produce stronger results year after year, he says his training has remained the same.
“The Cross Country team is not training differently,” he said. “Their training is based on a program that I have been using since 2004. In fact, I used the training regimen to help the Owen High Boys teams win back-to-back NCHSAA 2A Cross Country State Championships in 2005 and 2006. This same regimen has helped Asheville School’s boys go from 14th, to 5th to 3rd in last year’s 3A NCISAA State Cross Country meet. The structure of the schedule is the same, but the day to day training is always being tweaked.”
With the boys' cross country team ranked third in the All-State rankings among private and public schools in North Carolina, the team's talent is gaining even more statewide recognition, says Asheville School Athletic Director Chapman Kern.
"We have been watching several really committed athletes perform at an extraordinary level," Kern said. "I am so proud of our coaches and our student-athletes in their endeavor to go where no Asheville School running team has gone. The bar has been set high by former teams. I am hopeful that the 2012 Boys' Cross Country program can achieve all they hope for."
Ashley agrees that the improved rankings are simply a sign of how hard the Blues runners are working.
“At the beginning of the season I asked our teams if they thought they could do better than their pre-season rankings (Boys 2nd, Girls 7th). They assured me they could and we are moving up,” Ashley said.
This year, Ashley attributes part of the success of the boys’ team to having three senior boys leading the way who all plan to run at the college level.
“Ben Fiedler, Robert Cook, and Paul Jordan are capable of running at the next level,” he said. “They have provided leadership to the rising underclassmen, especially for Will Campbell, Brett Somogye, Otto Putzrath, and Eli Abernethy. These three seniors have shown the other 29 boys on the team that commitment to excellence through disciplined training will put you in the position to achieve.”
With several strong new and returning runners leading the way for the girls cross country team, Ashley expects this team to continue to have success. The girls, who finished in second place at the CAA meet at Christ School on September 19, has such young standouts as freshman Holt Mettee, sophomore Kaylee Pierson, and sophomore Madison Fiedler – a promising sign that the best may be yet to come for Girls’ Cross Country at Asheville School.
While accomplishing their athletic goals, they are also helping out in the community. Cross country team members and coaches are collecting non-perishable food items at all Asheville School home games this fall. Once the bins are full, Coach Ashley will take the bins to MANNA food bank.