A coach can only ask a runner to race harder than they have ever done just a few times a season. A runner typically has only 4 outstanding races in a season. For this Individual this was her 1st.
Bill Bowerman (Oregon Track coach) once was asked what he thought about over coaching; he replied "I would never do it"
As a rule, I have never and will never ask a first year runner to run outside of themselves. Sofia Maluf saw that one of her teammates had gone down and was not going to be able to finish the race. As a spectator it looks as if Maluf took this as her own personal responsibility to take up the slack. The focus and determination that I saw in her face was border line SCARY. The ironic part of this article is that Sofia was originally slated to run in the JV race until Thursday I told Sofia that she would be running with the Var. Girls. Again she took this as a challenge, not scared or threatened.
The reason I made this call was I wanted for the first time to be able to have both a JV and var. girls' team run. I also thought that it would not be wise to have just 5 girls in the Var. just in case something was to go wrong. This call turned out to be the correct call.
Sofia's persistent dedication to getting faster is quickly paying off and I don't think that this will be the last time that she is player of the week. I would also like thank her parents for their outstanding support of not just their daughter but also the team.