COLUMBIA, S.C. — Under the leadership of 18-year veteran coach Willis Ware, Heathwood Hall Episcopal School’s girls cross country team once again won the 2021 state SCISA title. During coach Ware’s tenure the team also won the 2012 state title as well as placing second in 2011 and 2013: furthermore finishing 1st or 2nd in the SCSIA state championship in 6 of the last 11 years. Another title that Coach Ware and his team were very proud of their three year-in-a-row winner’s prize (2011, 2012, 2013) in the championship division of the prestigious Coach’s Cross-Country meet. Additionally, this year’s team region title is its 7th consecutive regional title. In this past year’s regular schedule of 10 meets, the team has placed no worse than 8th place (out of 33 teams) while placing first 3 times and 2nd three times. They also, as of this writing, rank 11th among the 147 teams in South Carolina.
Coach Ware, who has an extensive running background at the University of Missouri as an undergraduate and coaching experience as graduate assistant to the Missouri track coach, has further honed his coaching skills these last 18 years at HH. I’m told that being a successful coach in any sport, especially scholastic sport requires a special approach. Basic training principles apply which include pacing workouts, the right kind of pre & post session exercise and a few more tactics that neither Coach Ware nor any other successful coach will reveal in detail. Very importantly, the coach states that setting goals with each athlete and instilling a vision of what they personally can achieve on an ongoing basis go a long way in achieving success.
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