Much like its fall associates, the South Tama County cross country teams have enjoyed the unseasonably cool temperatures during their opening days of the 2013 season.
The STC football team has practiced during the cooler evenings, while the STC volleyball squad has enjoyed the gym, which is slightly cooler than its usual temperature during the opening weeks of practice. It's the same for the STC cross country teams when they also began their fall season on Aug. 12.
"The nice thing about it is we have them in the morning when it's in the 50s," head coach George Kuhter said. "They are happy and we are able to get more done, because the weather isn't hurting us. Eventually, it's going to get hot, but we'll have to deal with that once school starts."
South Tama's runners started their season first. They were at the STC track at 7:30 a.m. last Monday for their inaugural practice of the 2013 season. Some of the Trojans came into the season with a small running base, while others were just weeks off of the summer teams' seasons.
"It's not been so much summer running, but summer activity," Kuhter said. "We've got a lot of softball players, baseball players and a lot of others who have been doing stuff all summer long, so it's pretty good deal."
The Trojans usually have between 25 and 30 runners at each practice. However, that number can fluctuate depending on what else the athletes have going on as summer winds down before the school year starts next Monday.
"We're doing well," Kuhter said. "We've got to take care of some inconsistencies. We've got detasslers, some doing summer job and all of that cool jive. We're in good shape. We'll be all right, but very young.
"Hopefully, we'll have over 30," he added. "Once school starts, people start showing up. We might also get some once summer vacation is over."
The Trojans have more than one week until they open competition in Marshalltown. They are enjoying the morning practices and will continue to do so before school starts. Then it's back to afternoon practices.
"We will go in the mornings through in-service days," Kuhter said. "Once school starts, we will go after school. The tough work is done in the first three weeks of the season."
During the first few weeks, they are emphasizing establishing a mileage base that will help condition them for the rest of the season.
"We're just putting in mileage right now," Kuhter said. "We're going with the same plan we had last year. We'll see where we are at the first meet in Marshalltown and then we have a week off. Then we have two meets the following week. We'll been looking for improvement from that first meet to the second meet in Marshalltown. We'll pretty much go from there."
South Tama begins its season on Aug. 29 at Marshalltown Community College.