We talked with Coach Mike Mulrooney of Arrowhead about the upcoming season and his time as a coach. Coach Mulrooney has been leading the Arrowhead boys to success for more than thirty years and has seen tremendous success with four state titles, five runner up finishes, and 14 top four finishes.
Top Returnees from 2014 XC Season (5K Times)
|1) Cole Sandvold||16:15.80|
|2) Kyle Vogt||16:25.29|
|3) Drew Renner||16:27.53|
|4) Connor Kumlien||16:34.20|
|5) Vinny Salamone||17:21.79|
|Average Time: 16:36.92 Total Time: 1:23:04.61 1-5 Split: 1:05.99|
|6) Evan Deboth||17:23.52|
|7) Sean Straka||17:27.19|
Top Returning 3200m Times from 2015 Outdoor Season
|1) Caleb Anderson||10:29.70|
|2) Sam Evert||10:47.12|
|3) Cody Clauer||10:47.97|
|4) Emik Vayts||10:59.81|
|5) Matthew Bringe||11:52.39|
|Average Time: 10:59.40 Total Time: 54:56.99 1-5 Split: 1:22.69|
|6) Jack Lentz||11:55.65|
Top Returning 1600m Times from 2015 Outdoor Season
|1) Cole Sandvold||4:22.81|
|2) Connor Kumlien||4:41.66|
|3) Caleb Anderson||4:46.77|
|4) Sean Straka||4:48.27|
|5) Mason Durst||4:50.06|
|Average Time: 4:41.91 Total Time: 23:29.57 1-5 Split: 27.25|
|6) Emik Vayts||5:05.74|
|7) Nate Ferro||5:17.27|
Q&A With Coach Mulrooney
How has summer training been going for your team?
Our summer training has gone well. We have focused on building an aerobic base this summer. In an ideal world we would have all 80 kids training 5-6 days a week but that just doesn't happen. We have had a larger percentage of kids who have put in that kind of summer training this year.
What will be the biggest obstacle or challenge facing your team this season?
I think the obstacles facing our team will be what most teams face. Build steadily as the season goes on and to stay healthy and injury free. We have five guys back from last year's state meet team and we are counting on them to compete at a higher level from last year.
What will be the biggest reason why your team is successful this season?
Our team should have very good depth such that our 8th-12th runners could be running times that in past years would have put them in the varsity lineup. Clearly no one will be able to "back off" in their meets and be guaranteed of maintaining their varsity position.
What are some staple workouts your team does during the season?
Our workouts are pretty typical of many of the high school programs. We do hill workouts and threshold workouts and progress into doing race pace VO2 workouts. We also maintain doing one long run in the week with steady recovery days between.
What are your top 3 goals for this year's squad?
Our top goals are winning the conference meet, qualifying for state and then being in position to have a shot at the podium (top 2 teams in state).
Any impactful freshmen or transfers to join the team this season?
We may have a freshman who will come out for the team who can have a varsity impact. He is a very good runner but has had a past injury that held him back last spring.
You've been coaching for over 30 years now with successful teams throughout the years - whats the key to sustained success on the high school level?
There are many things that go into a successful program. I am always coaching our team to be the best they can be that season but also pay close attention to nurturing our young kids to be the next varsity runners. Like any sport, it is so important to sell your program and the benefits of our athletes to persevere to compete for four years. We do everything we can to motivate and build esteem and self confidence into each runner.
What have you learned in your time coaching?
I learned even before I started my coaching career, that anyone who is willing to work can make remarkable improvement. We preach that success is a decision. When someone decides to commit totally to train hard that they will attain a much higher level of success.
What have been your favorite memories during that time?
We have had some remarkable athletes on our team but some of my fondest memories are of some of the somewhat average kids who trained relentlessly to become varsity, all conference and even all state runners.