Atholton girls cross country team has a new coach in town. His name is Earl Lauer, and he has already won a national coach of the year award in his coaching career. He said “expectations [for the team] are to finish top 3 in the county, region, and state.” He is filling in for the previous cross country coach, Coach Albert, this year. The change in coaching seems to have been beneficial for the team, as the team’s record is great so far.
Although this might be the first time students outside of the cross country program have heard of Coach Lauer, he is a returning Raider. He was the athletic instructor for cross country teams at Atholton for 25 years (1971-1996) and has a very impressive resume: he has led four Maryland state championship winning teams. “I don’t even count runner-ups anymore,” he said.
After his time at Atholton, he moved to River Hill High School because his children were students at the school. While there, Coach Lauer acquired nine state championships at River Hill and had multiple runner-ups before he had to leave due to his son getting the job as athletic director. “I really loved River Hill, but I am starting to find myself buying more green,” he said.
“Everyone looks out for everybody else. It’s like a family,”
“Everyone looks out for everybody else. It’s like a family,” Lauer said about the girls cross country team, and a big factor in this is that they are together year-round. He worked out with more than a dozen of the runners all summer, “training to get faster and more athletic.”
All of the work the athletes have done this offseason has paid off so far, as their records show. So far this year they have been a top finishing Maryland Girls team, and they have won the Interstate Classic in Clear Spring at Hood College. The team is led by a strong core of Cameron Stevis, Celine Posanic, Sara Carlyle, Emily Brefo, and Gabby Degzia.
Even though the team has found success, Senior Camryn Streib said there are some things missing in Coach Albert’s absence. “Coach A and I have had a really close bond since I’ve had him for so many years” she said. “He was also a big numbers guy so that combined with him being able to tell me what was going on with me mentally really allowed us to plan for races and analyze them afterwards to optimize my performance and learn from my mistakes.” Streib added that off the field, he was “not only my coach but also my friend.”
Although Coach A was a beloved part of Atholton cross country program, the runners are still in very good hands with Coach Lauer. Coach Lauer has won many tournaments with both boys and girls, and he is dedicated to getting the Atholton Girls Cross Country team to the top. The Cross Country team has four more meets left, on October 17th they have a multiteam event at Howard High School and on the 24th of October they have the Howard County Girls Cross Country Championships at Centennial High School.