Skagway School’s cross-country running team is readying itself for a new season with drills, intervals and, of course, running.

On the high school team are senior Al Weber, junior Hailey Jensen,  sophomores Kara Whitehead, Micah Cook and Colton Belisle, and freshmen Madison Cox, Wyatt Belisle and Danny Brady.

Assistant coach Abby Myers said the team is very young but shows promise, adding that Brady has the most potential.

“They just need to be running more,” she said. “Starting cold like that is like, oh, hey! I have to work on building endurance and stuff.”

The junior high team is comprised of  Eliza Myers, Jessica Whitehead, Harrison Zalit, Silas Myers, Timothy Leggett, Isaac Zalit, Lily Zalit, Tatum Sager, Zoe Whitehead and Kalie Thomas.

Newly-appointed head coach Erik Wortman was commercial fishing during the start of the team’s practices, so Myers took the reins, leading the Panthers in intervals, tempo runs, long runs and core exercises.

She had the team running five days a week, utilizing different runs to build different skill sets.

“There’s a whole science behind it,” she said.

The team’s first meet is in Sitka on August 29, and Myers said the team is excited.

“There is something about getting to a point when you’re running that it feels good. It’s not always like that, but that is the addictive feeling,” she said.

The team’s motto is “Embrace the Suck,” because as Myers says, it sucks and it’s hard.

“But when they are out there racing and they are passing people, all the practices were worth it.”

Wortman was back this week with the rest of the school teachers for inservice days and team practices.