Tim Coffey wrapped up his sophomore season with Mooresville High’s cross country team by turning in some of his best times of the year.Now that he’s begun his junior year, there’s been no dropoff in Coffey’s performance – if anything, he’s posted personal best times three times in the opening month of the 2013 season.“By the end of the season, I want to be (running) around the 15:30s or even the 15:20s,” Coffey said. “Before the races, I try to set up a time where I want to be … but my goal is to place as high as possible. I pretty much try to stay with the top guys.”Running with the top guys hasn’t been a problem for Coffey – an all-Lake Norman News selection last year – who didn’t take up running until trying out for the track team at Mooresville Middle.“That sparked the whole urge to run,” Coffey said. “But I didn’t really do more than 1-milers in middle school, so I didn’t really know what I had for the 3-milers, which is close to what we run in high school.“My freshman year (at Mooresville High) was when I noticed that I could run pretty good at the longer distance, but it was my sophomore year when I really started with the good times.”Coffey won his first major meet title at last year’s Statesville Invitational at Mac Anderson Park, then finished sixth in the United Way Invitational in Newton with a personal-best time of 15 minutes, 51.97 seconds over three miles.Coffey then led the Blue Devils into the postseason by finishing fifth in the N.C. High School Athletic Association 4A West regional meet at Charlotte’s McAlpine Park, and 28th at the 4A state championships at Kernersville’s Beeson Park.“I was training too hard, too early,” Coffey said of his finish at the state meet. “I peaked early, and I started seeing a decline (in times) towards the end of the season. Plus, it was a new course to me. I had never run it, so I didn’t exactly know what my plan was going to be.”Coffey has his plan now, and the early-season results reflect it – he’s already won at two meets (the Pioneer Clash of the Classes in Boone, and the boys open division at the Providence Invitational in Charlotte), and set a personal-best time for 5,000 meters of 15:49 in finishing second at the Iredell County Championships on Sept. 17 in Statesville.That’s also a good sign for how Mooresville’s team could do this season, both within a new conference – the Blue Devils join the other Iredell County schools, former state champ North Lincoln and Alexander Central in the North Piedmont 3A-4A – and the state’s other 4A teams.“He’s probably the best I’ve ever coached, as far as cross country goes,” first-year Mooresville cross country coach Mike Young said of Coffey. “We’re just starting, and he’s already finishing in the low 16s. I really think he’s going to be in the mid- to lower 15s by the end of the year.“We have high expectations. Of course, North Lincoln has won the last two state championships in 2A … and we’ve also got to contend with Lake Norman, so we’ve got three teams who are really, really good. Unfortunately, they’re all in the same conference.”
Tuesday, Sep. 24, 2013
No letdown for Coffey
Kiser: 704-895-3662; Twitter: @Bkiser_CLTObs.
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