Coaches Corner with Heather Wade

12/15/2021 / Posted by Staff

1. Give us a background of how you got into coaching XC and/or Track & Field. I grew up in Pea Ridge and after coaching in Missouri for two years decided it was time to come back home! I love being a Blackhawk and giving back to the community! When I was hired at Pea Ridge I was initially coaching softball and basketball. There was even a year when I was the head girls softball, basketball, and volleyball coach. Once I started a family,I knew I wanted to remain in coaching but try to cut back on the time I was away from home on a nightly basis. This is when my coaching journey for my current roles began to take shape and I have never looked back! Initially, the Jr high girls track position became open and I was fortunate enough to get that position and that eventually led to taking the Sr. high girls track position along with the Jr high and High school girls cross country teams. This past year I took over the Jr. High and High school boys cross country teams as well. 2. What inspires you to continue coaching the sport? I have found that many times high school athletes, especially in the sport of track and field, just need someone to be a champion for them and help them to believe they can achieve more than they ever thought possible. I love helping kids believe in themselves and helping them step out of their comfort zone and try new things. I love the look on their faces or the tone in their voice when they succeed. Also, building a lasting relationship with each of my athletes is very important! This keeps me going the most and it is such a joy when they come back and visit. These things make it more than coaching a sport. 3. Give us a memory that has stuck with you through the years. I would say winning the first girls track and field state title in school history would be among my most cherished memories. It was an experience I will never forget. Watching the expressions on my athletes faces and seeing how they all competed and gave it their al was something as a coach I will never forget. It was great to see the school district and community support these young ladies' hard work and success! 4. What differences have you seen in the program since you've been HC? The biggest difference is Pea Ridge was able to provide us a track and an hour during the day to practice. It has been a great help in building the program. As a program our staff has grown which has been an important factor in our programs success as well. Also the number of athletes that come out for track and field has grown tremendously over the years. 5. What's your take on the direction of High School XC and/or Track & Field in Arkansas? Over the years it has become more and more competitive. In our part of the state, other programs are growing as well which has increased the level of competition across the board at all of the area meets. Good competition pushes good athletes to continue to work hard and improve their skills, so it has been very enjoyable for me to see the growth of our sport in our area. Championships Track - 2013 Jr high Girls 1-4A Conference Champs 2018, 2019 and 2020 AR state Indoor Champions 2018, 2019 and 2021 4A state Outdoor Champions 2014,2015, 2016, 2018, 2019.2021 1-4A Conference Champs XC- 2016 and 2017 Jr High Girls 1-4A Conference Champs 2020 Boys Cross Country 4A State Champs 2020- high school boy and girls 1-4A Conference Champs 2020 jr high boys conference champs Athlete Accomplishments 10- athletes signed college scholarships to run in college 2- indoor state records 2 - outdoor state records 15-outdoor 4A state individual Champions 19- indor 4A state individual Champions Cassidy Mooneyhan broke the indoor and outdoor 4A pole vault records and was named 2020 Gatorade Player of the year Blakelee Winn broke the 4A 300h record this past season, was selected AR Preps Athlete of the year, 2021 ALL-NWADG GIRLS TRACK Athlete of the year and 2018 ALL-NWADG GIRLS TRACK Girls Newcomer of the Year Coaching Accomplishments Track- 2018-2019 NFHS Ar Girls Outdoor track and field Coach of the Year 2019 Ar High School Coaches Association Outstanding Coach of the Year 2018 Us Track & Field and Xc Coaches Association AR Coach of the Year 2014,2015,2016,2018,2019,2021 1-4A Conference Coach of the Year 2016 Hydration Hero award Cross country- 2020 Ar High School Coaches Association Outstanding Boys Cross Country Coach of the Year 2020 1-4A Boys and Girls Conference Coach of the year 2020-2021 All Arkansas preps Boys Cross Country Coach of the year Years Coaching 17 year in coaching and 7 years as the high school girls track coach, 7 years Girls cross country coach, 1 year Boys Cross country coach

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