• Athletics
Big Red Profile: Boys’ Varsity Cross Country Coach Jeff Streeter

Big Red Sports Network Reporter Ian Lee ’24 recently caught up with Lawrenceville boys’ varsity cross country coach Jeff Streeter to learn about the 2022 team.

Ian Lee: What are your main goals for the cross country program as a whole this year? For the individual athletes?

Jeff Streeter: We are hoping the athletes have a great time running together, and learn to love running and being a part of the team.  An important part of that is having a healthy season, so we hope to avoid injuries so everybody can keep working together throughout the season.

IL: What are some strengths that you have observed in the team so far? What are some areas for improvement?

JS: We have a lot of experienced senior leadership on the boys’ team. [Fifth Formers] Sean Scarpa, Satvik Dasariraju, Brody Herrick, and Yan Tsenter have all been with the program for a long time, and were active over the summer building up the program. They form a strong core around which to build our team.  We have some exciting young talent as well.  For example, we competed in the Cherokee Challenge this past weekend, where Bastian Bocklage ’26 placed seventh out of 276 athletes in the freshman boys’ race with a time of 11:04 and Taksh Gupta  ’25 placed 12th out of 332 athletes in the sophomore race with a time of 10:43. 

We also have a large group of athletes that are relatively new to the sport. With 25 Second and Third Formers out for the team, we have a great base for future strength in the program. We are looking forward to watching that young group develop together over the course of the season to form the foundation of future cross country teams.

Jeff Streeter, boys' varsity cross country head coach/Credit: Ian Lee '24

IL: What will you bring to the team in this, your first year as head coach? Is there anything you want to build off of from last year?

JS: Coach [Melissa] Clore and I were the assistant coaches last year under Coach [Stephen] Wallis and Coach [Jessica] Pine. We are absolutely looking to continue the amazing work they did with the program. If anything, I think we are just trying to do even a little bit more of what they introduced. For example, we are continuing to build the cross country program into a single program, rather than separate boys’ and girls’ teams. We are also continuing the focus on pre- and post-run work, even adding a few additional pieces to programs that were introduced last year. But, overall, we are looking to continue and build off last year's work.

IL: How would you describe the team atmosphere?

JS: We were excited to get a big group of kids out for the team this year. The combination of strong senior leadership and a lot of young energy is a really healthy place for the team. Cross country is also different from many sports in that all grade levels mix together, and we also mix the boys’ and girls’ programs. This provides a lot of opportunities for students to get to know peers they might not otherwise tend to meet, and if you want to get to know somebody, there's nothing like going on a few 60 minute long runs together.    

IL: What kinds of skills does the team work on in preparation for a race or in general?

JS: The single most important thing in cross country is building up the athletes' aerobic capacity.  So, unsurprisingly, we do a lot of running in practice.  At the same time, most people figure you don't really "practice" running, that everyone already knows how to run. It turns out that most people don't actually run very well. So, we also spend a lot of time doing drills that improve our running efficiency and also help us avoid injury. Another key skill in cross country is learning to pace yourself appropriately. Athletes learn to know the difference between a pace they can hold for 15 minutes and a pace they can only hold for five minutes. As we near championship races at the end of the season, athletes will hone in on their race pace, and do a lot of training at that specific pace until it feels like the most natural thing in the world to run at that speed. 

IL: What does the average practice look like?

JS: We probably spend less time running than some people would expect. We generally start out with about 20-30 minutes of pre-run drills. Some are focused on movement to warm up the body and improve mobility, some build strength in key areas, and others focus on developing better running form. We then move into our run. On Mondays we generally do a workout that involves a mix of faster and easier running. Tuesday is an easy recovery day. Wednesday is a moderate run. Thursday we go for a long run (up to 90+ minutes for some athletes). Friday is generally a short pre-meet run. Post run we come back and do more drills. These have a lot of the same goals as the pre-run work, but also continue the aerobic workload of the run while reducing the pounding that the athletes legs take while running. 

IL: Is there anything else you would like to add?

JS: Coach Clore and I are really proud of the work the athletes have been doing and are excited to see what they will accomplish this year. 

The first home meet of the year for the Big Red boys’ and girl’ cross country teams will be on Sept. 24 vs. Choate. Girls’ begin at 1:30 p.m.; boys’ at 2:30 p.m.

For additional information, contact Lisa M. Gillard H'17, director of public relations, at lgillard@lawrenceville.org.