by Eddie Chisham
Contributing Sports Writer
The new head coach for the Rogers Royals cross country team is Margaret Litchy, as announced on May 9. Litchy, who spent the year as the Nordic skiing head coach will be stepping down from that role. She is currently the distance running coach for the Royals track team.
Litchy grew up in Plymouth, Minn. She started running competitively in seventh grade. At Wayzata High School, Litchy ran two years of varsity cross country and four years of track. She was all-state in the 4×400 in track, and Nordic skiing.
Litchy attended College of St. Benedict where she studied math and secondary education with a minor in Philosophy. She continued running track and cross country in college and had a since-broken record in the steeplechase.
After college, Litchy held her first teaching job in Colorado Springs, Col. She then moved to Bozeman, Mont. to teach outdoor education and guided white water rafting at a Nordic ski ranch. Litchy now teaches math at Rogers High School.
To this day, Litchy still enjoys competitive running, and hopes to share that in her new role.
“I have competed in everything after college from the 5k to the 50 mile,” Litchy said. “I love running. I’m very passionate about it. I’m excited to share that with all our athletes that I get to work with.”
At Rogers High School, Litchy coached the full year with the distance track and field runners and the Nordic skiing team. She has her head coach certification from that role. Perhaps Litchy’s clear passion for running, and her relationship with distance track and field runners, are her most important qualifications.
“I love track,” she began. “I love working with these kids. To be a good distance runner you have to be dedicated and self-motivated. We just keep getting a lot of really good kids.”
Litchy has two clear actions for her initial plan when taking over the head coaching position, but she doesn’t want to change too many things.
“The main thing is attitude and effort,” Litchy said. “From there we can build anything. This year, I’m going to focus on building up the team and setting clear expectations. I don’t think I’ll get good results by implementing too many different changes.”
She hopes her first big change will be to make summer training a requirement. She wants to put together a plan that the athletes can follow, including a required running log for them to fill out.
“I think that summer training is one of the most important aspects to having a good foundation going into the cross country season,” Litchy explained.
Her next change is more minor. She hopes to start practice after high school as the former coach, a middle school teacher, had to wait after middle school.
As far as losses to the team go, Litchy is particularly going to miss the impact of senior McKone Corkery as he was one of the top runners. Still, Rogers has maintained top runners like Hannah Teasdale, Ellie Cargill, Hyrum Teasdale and Ethan Anderson.
“I’m excited to see where (Anderson) goes,” Litchy said. “He joined Nordic ski this season and was one of our top boys — same thing with track this season. He has just been phenomenal, setting lots of personal records. He’s one of our top, if not the very top, boy that we have right now. I can’t wait to see what he does because I know he is going to train hard over the summer.”
Litchy admires how the team was built, and views it as one of their best strengths.
“(Former Coach), Chad Kreuser was a middle school teacher,” Litchy said. “He really built the team up. He was excellent at recruiting middle school athletes since he saw them on a regular basis as the gym teacher.”
Litchy also addressed the team’s biggest weakness. She believes it is the unstructured summer training. She hopes the new system makes her athletes more accountable.