Coaches Corner with Andrew Chasteen

11/4/2021 / Posted by Staff

Give us a background of how you got into coaching XC and/or Track & Field. I got into running after high school as a way to stay in shape and fell deeply in love with the sport. I started entering local 5k’s, then went on to do half and full marathons. One day while grading papers, the girls athletic director at New Boston, Keri Waide, came to my classroom and asked “Aren’t you one of those crazy runners?” I laughed and said yes. She asked if I would be interested in helping with the junior high track team. I agreed and things took off from there. I became the head coach of cross country for New Boston. In 2017, I became the head coach for Cross country and Girls Track at Genoa Central after Coach John Murphy retired. Things have been an amazing roller coaster ever since What inspires you to continue coaching the sport? I first got into coaching XC/ Track because I love the sport, I love teaching, it just made sense. As I have gotten older, my love for the science of running has grown. I try my best to be a student of the sports. There are so many facets of Track and XC to learn. I am truly excited to learn as much as I can about all aspects of our sport. Then there are the athletes. They are the best part of the job. The relationships you build are for life. I love being involved with grades 7-12. I get to watch them start not knowing much in 7th to become phenomenal athletes as the years go by. I am very blessed at Genoa Central to work with some of the hardest working athletes there are. They say if you love your job you’ll never work a day in your life. I feel like I haven’t worked for several years now! Give us a memory that has stuck with you through the years. There are so many to choose from it’s hard to pick. If I had to choose one it would be coaching both 3A state champion cross country teams in 2017. The girls team was very talented. The training came together very well and they performed the way they should. It was one of those situations where if they did everything they should do, we knew we would be in the hunt to win. The boys team was quite different. 2 years before they had placed 4th, the next year 2nd. They were a lot of seniors and they really wanted to win a state championship. On the first day of practice one of them looked me in the eyes and said “Just so you know we will be winning a state championship this year.” I said I liked their confidence, but they had to prove they could be champions every day. The level of competitiveness and teamwork everyday from the guys team was amazing! I was so happy to see their hard work pay off when they won. What differences have you seen in the program since you've been HC? I was lucky enough to come into a program that is already well established. Genoa Central has been known for exceptional XC and Track teams for many years. With that being said, I have tried to bring an educational aspect to the program. I am a teacher first, so I have really tried to teach the athletes why they are doing the drills, workouts, lifts, and stretches they are doing. This has really helped our athletes see how things connect as they learn more about our sport. I like to think our athletes have a very high track IQ because of the way our programs are run. That track knowledge has helped our program grow, not only in size, but also in love for the sport. What's your take on the direction of High School XC and/or Track & Field in Arkansas? I think there are a lot of amazing things happening in both XC and Track and Field right now. There are some very talented athletes and coaches doing incredible things. I think the number of professional and collegiate athletes being produced from our high schools in Arkansas speak to how strong our state’s track and field programs are. I feel like in the next few years we are going to make changes that will bring our sports into the limelight more. Ideas such as having every classification state track meets held over a 3 day time period in the same location are interesting and worth exploring. Championships: 2017 State Championships 3A Boys and Girls Cross Country 2019 State Runner Up 3A Girls Indoor Track and Field 3A Conference 7 Championships: XC - Senior High Boys 2017,2018 Senior High Girls 2017,2018,2019,2020 Track - Senior High Girls 2018,2019 Athlete Accomplishments Dalton Jones - 3rd place at state 2019. Qualified to run in the Arkansas vs. Oklahoma All Star XC meet. Caedmon Kyles received an athletic scholarship to run XC and track for the University of Louisiana - Lafayette. Lani Lanier - 2x State Champion pole vaulter 2019 & 2021, although most of the praise goes to Heath Day. Alley Dawson - State Champion Discus 2019 6 All State Performances in Track and Field at 3A State meets 10 All State Performances in Cross Country at 3A State meets Coaching Accomplishments 3A Conference 7 Girls Coach of the Year 2018,2019 Years Coaching Going into my 5th year in Arkansas. 4 years previously in New Boston, TX

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