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Summer Miles


Thank you parents/guardians for encouraging your young runners to get out there this summer.  I hope they found some fun in it!  

I'll be keeping my fingers crossed that in Summer of 2021 we'll be able to run together in person.  

Hope to see a lot of you this fall if your kids are signing-up for Cross-Country. 


Week 5 Spotlight is on EAA XC parent Shannon Braun.  Shannon has two children who have been involved in EAA XC.  Shannon also organized the pen-pal program this summer with our kids and the varsity athletes.  Shannon is also the Eagan Varsity Boy XC coach!   I hope you enjoy reading about Shannons approach to working with kids to foster a love of running.  Thank you Shannon for all you do for the Eagan running community.  If there are meets this year, I hope a lot of us can catch the varsity team! 

What is your EAA XC experience with your kids?
We have had an awesome experience with EAA Cross Country!  My oldest son Kevin has participated since he was in Kindergarten and my youngest is participating for the first time this summer.  Since they were babies they have come to lots of cross country practices and meets with me and really look up to all of my high school athletes – so it is fun for them to get a chance to participate in the sport as well!

Why did you choose to pursue cross-country coaching?
I ran cross country all of high school and in college for the University of Montana so running has always been a passion of mine.  I got into both teaching and coaching cause I love being around kids.  My hope as a coach is to instill a passion and love for running that my athletes can take with them into adulthood.  My favorite thing about coaching cross country is the ability to celebrate individual success.  It doesn’t matter if a kid is the fastest or slowest on the team our expectation is that they all give 100% of themselves in practice and races.  With that being said this common goal allows us to be excited about every athletes personal improvement no matter what their actual 5k time is – fast or slow.

What advice do you have for younger kids who are new to distance running and not sure if they are going to enjoy it?
Be patient with yourself.  Becoming a good runner takes time and effort!  It is important to ease into training and give your body a chance to adjust before making any increases.  Also know that it will get easier over time!  No matter where you start if you work hard you will see improvement J

Tell us about a favorite cross-country memory or experience as a high school coach. 
My favorite memory coaching so far has to be the State Cross Country Meet in 2016.  It was my first year as the Head Coach of the Boys program (I had been an assistant coach under Rob Graham for 9 years prior to this season).  We had a really talented team that year and were super excited to qualify for the state meet as a team.  We didn’t go into the State Meet with too many expectations other than to do our best.  The guys ended up running out their minds to earn an overall 7th place team finish in the state – we surprised a lot of people and beat teams we didn’t think we could!  It was a super fun moment to be a part of!

What advice do you have for EAA XC runners who would like to know more about what it takes to be high school XC runner?
Being a good runner takes a lot of determination and grit.  Training is not always easy and fun but the hard days are worth the effort.  It is also a sport that takes a lot of patience - Success does not happen overnight.  The most successful athletes I have coached so far are the ones that enjoy the whole process – they understand how to put in the work and also how to take care of their bodies and rest when they need to.  So I guess my biggest piece of advice for young athletes is to find a passion for the WHOLE sport – which involves not only the races but all of the training that leads up to those races too! 

What are your runners most favorite and least favorite practices?
I think a lot of my athletes would say that our long runs at Lebanon are their favorite – these are usually easy paced runs so they are able to enjoy chatting and being with their teammates!  I am guessing that our 2 x 2 mile repeats or 8 X 1k repeats are some of their least favorites – but they all know that these are the workouts that really make them strong for races!  Another favorite practice for our guys is what we call “Game Day” – within Eagan Boys Cross Country “The Game” as we call it has become team legend.  It is essentially our own version of handball that the guys love playing.  It is very serious competition.  As coaches we laugh because I think many of the athletes get more a workout on these “Game Days” than they do when we go out for 5-6 mile run! J

What is your favorite running motto that you say all the time to your runners?
I am not sure if it is really a motto or not but I start EVERY cross country season by having my athletes look around at each other – I explain to them that no matter how fast or slow each of them is our expectation for them as Coaches and their expectations for each other as teammates needs to be the same “Bring 100% of yourself everyday!” Some days 100% will mean grinding out a really hard workout and other days 100% will mean taking it easy and letting their bodies recover and build back stronger.


I was lucky enough to catch up with Natalie Windels this week and she was gracious enough to answer some questions for our weekly runner spotlight.  Natalie is an EAA Alum, and a 2018 EHS graduate.   Natalie currently runs on the track and field team at the University of Minnesota.  In addition to so many running accomplishments in high school, she also graduated in the top 12% of her class academically.   I hope you enjoy sharing Natalies wisdom with your young runners. Thanks Natalie! 

What is your EAA sports experience?

I first joined EAA track when I was in kindergarten and I continued until the program ended in 6th grade. Although I did not join EAA cross-country, I still ran longer distances in track, including the 800m and mile. I also participated in EAA soccer from 3rd grade until 8th grade.
Why did you choose running? 

I chose running because I enjoy challenging myself and it’s a way for me to release stress. I also enjoy connecting with others who run because the track and field community is full of like-minded individuals who have a good work ethic and are supportive of each other. 

What advice do you have for younger kids who are new to (distance) running and not sure if they are going to enjoy it?

My advice to them would be to stick with distance running if they make it through the beginning weeks of hard training and long runs. The hardest part is getting into shape and gaining endurance but once you have the groundwork laid, you can have more fun with it and challenge yourself. 

Tell us about a favorite running/track and field memory or experience.  

My favorite memory by far was at the MSHSL State Track and Field meet in 2018 (my senior year) when I won both the 100m and 300m hurdles and placed 2nd in the 4x400m relay. Everything came together that day and it felt great to know that all the training and healthy eating had finally paid off. 

If you could give your younger-self any advice about sports, what would it be? 

I would tell myself to talk to more people and get out of my comfort zone. I was shy as a middle schooler so I feel that if I could’ve branched out and made more connections with my teammates, I would’ve had more fun running track back then. 
Do you have a most-favorite and least-favorite workout? 

My least favorite workout would have to be repeat 400m hills that we do at the University of Minnesota. Hills are usually fine but 400m is a long way! My favorite workout is any type of 400m hurdle workout because I get to practice hurdling when I’m tired in order to simulate what the end of a race would feel like. 
What is your favorite running motto? 

“Perfection is not attainable. But if you chase perfection, you can catch excellence” ~Vince Lombardi
If there were 25-hours in a day, what would you do with your extra hour?

I don’t give myself enough time to sit back and relax, therefore, I would love to hike up to a good spot at a regional/state park and then read a book while sitting in my hammock.


Brooke Besee EAA XC

This weeks runner spotlight is on Brooke Besse.  Brooke is a current EAA XC athlete.  Brooke will be headed to the 5th grade this fall.  Brooke has been part of EAA XC for a few years already!  I wanted to highlight Brooke as she is someone who stands out on and off the field.  Brooke works hard but is also a champion for everyone else on the team to do their best.  You can always count on Brooke to put the work in while remaining a true team player.  Thank you Brooke for being a positive role-model on this team.  Can't wait to see what you do this year! 

What EAA Sports have you participated in?       

Cross country, volleyball, basketball

What do you like best about EAA Summer miles and cross country?      

The friends

What do you think is the biggest challenge about doing a virtual summer running program?

Motivation. Because I always got motivated by friend and coaches but you can’t do that virtually.

What made you decide to give cross country a try?

My parents, and I love running so I thought it would be fun. I was right

What advice do you have for kids new to running and unsure if they like it?

Just give it a try. Do it 3 or 4 times to see if you like it and go to different areas (locations to run) to do them

Do you have any pre or post race rituals?

Sometimes I do, depends how I think I will do

What is your most-favorite and least-favorite running workout?

My favorite is free choice running

If you were coach for a day, what would practice look like for everyone?

It would be more chill but you would still run. I would run with them and we would run a mile and walk a mile and then chill with friends.


This week we are so fortunate to hear from EAA XC Alum and Eagan Varsity runner Arlan Hegenbarth.  Alran will be entering 11th grade at Eagan High School this fall.   Arlans advice to the younger kids is especially ringing true right now as we are starting to prep for our fall season after being out of school and organized sports for the last few months. Thank you Arlan for sharing your experiences with us.  We all wish you the best of luck this fall and hopefully we'll be able to catch an EAA XC meet and watch you run!

What is your EAA sports experience?
When I was younger, I participated in soccer, track, and cross country through the EAA programs.

Why did you choose cross-country? 
I chose to join cross country because I enjoyed the running that I had done in track and wanted to try longer distances. I joined EAA cross county the first year that the team was created.

What advice do you have for younger kids who are new to distance running and not sure if they are going to enjoy it?
As you practice and become stronger, running becomes easier and more comfortable. When you start running for the first time, or even after an extended break, you body isn’t fully prepared for running. Your body needs time to build up strength in your muscles and joints. The first few weeks or even months can be more difficult. If you are patient with yourself and don’t try to push too hard in the beginning, you will reach a point where running becomes something that you will look forward to. In addition, I have learned that drinking more water throughout the day can help prevent side stitches.

Tell us about a favorite cross-country memory or experience.  
My favorite cross country experience was running the 2019 Ragnar relay with my high school team. The Ragnar relay in an overnight relay with 12 people on a team who each run 3 times. Last year's course was 200 miles from St. Paul to Duluth. It was a lot of fun to travel overnight and spend lots of time with my teammates. Running in the middle of night is also a very unique experience. Our team won the high school race in just over 24 hours.

If you could give your younger-self any advice about sports, what would it be? 
To perform well in races or games you actually have to put in effort during practices. If you only put in effort during races, you won’t really improve from race to race. Just hoping that you will suddenly be able to run faster in a meet or perform better in a game won’t work.

Do you have a most-favorite and least-favorite workout? 
My favorite workouts are workouts that involve longer sections of fast running such as two-mile repeats or progression runs, where you start slow but gradually increase your speed throughout the run. My least favorite workouts are hill repeats. I often find I don’t have as much strength as others to keep a fast pace up a long hill.

What is your favorite running motto? 
Talent is only part of what makes a good runner, a much larger part is how hard you are willing to work.

If there were 25-hours in a day, what would you do with your extra hour? 
If I had an extra hour each day, I would use it to be more involved in other activities that interest me, such as band. In high school it is difficult to participate in multiple sports and activities because they take place at the same time. Remember to use elementary and middle school to try many different activities, so you can figure out what you enjoy the most and want to continue into high school and beyond.

Week 1 Runner Spotlight - Hadley Knight

Hadley Knight

This weeks Runner Spotlight is on our very own EAA Cross Country Alumni Hadley Knight.

Hadley will be entering 7th grade this fall and was a consistent top runner in EAA.  We can't wait to see where running takes her.  

Below is some fun information about Hadley and her running experiences. 

What EAA Sports did you participate in? 
I have participated in 1 season (5th) of track and field, and 7 seasons (K-6) of Cross-Country.

What did you like best about EAA Summer Miles and Cross Country?
I liked having different people to run with and being able to make new friendships. The races were exciting for me as well.

What advice do you have for kids new to running and unsure if they like it? 
When my Dad first asked me if I wanted to try running Cross-Country, I doubted it would be very enjoyable. I found that it was actually very fun, and I was making new friends too. I started to become motivated to work harder. Now, I can’t imagine my life without Cross-Country in it.

Do you have any pre or post race rituals?
Before every race, I do the same warm-up routine, including stretches and sprints. I also wear my favorite running shorts and socks, and my racing shoes and team shirt. After every morning race, I like to eat a bacon, egg, and cheese bagel from Brueggers, and drink a hot chocolate from Caribou. After every evening race, I like to eat my favorite meal from Chipotle. 

What is your most-favorite and least-favorite running workout? 
My favorite workout would probably be relays, especially when it’s on a hill. I don’t know if I have a least favorite workout.

What is your favorite running motto? 
“Today I will do what others won’t, so tomorrow I can do what others can’t.”

If there were 25-hours in a day, how would you spend your extra hour?
I feel busy a lot, so I would love to have an extra hour to spend with friends, or get some more sleep.


Thanks Hadley!!! 


April 27, 2020

Schedule for the Summer running program will begin on June 17th, 2020.

The program will end on July, 26th

Due to COVID19 and current social distancing guidelines at the time of registration opening, the Summer Miles in 2020 will be moved to a virtual experience.   

I will send weekly workout guidance, and will expect parents or kids to email me their distances and/or times weekly so that I can keep track of progress.  The goal is to still get our miles in - while being safe - to be ready for a great Fall Season.  

The cost of Summer Miles registration covers the cost of t-shirt.  I will send further information on when we can plan on shirt pick-ups.  

Lastly, depending on public-gathering guidelines, we may try to meet in small groups later this summer for those that are comfortable doing so. 

Please email Tina Wrucke with any questions.


Date Workout Goal
Week of June 15 - workout 1 TBA TBA
Week of June 15 - workout 2 Timed Mile Set a baseline
Week of June 22 - workout 1 TBA TBA
Week of June 22 - workout 2 TBA TBA
Week of June 29 - workout 1 TBA TBA
Week of June 29 - workout 2 TBA TBA
Week of July 6 - workout 1 TBA TBA
Week of July 6 - workout 2 TBA TBA
Week of July 13 - workout 1 TBA TBA
Week of July 13 - workout 2 TBA TBA
Week of July 20 - workout 1 TBA TBA
Week of July 20 - workout 2 Timed Mile Beat your mile time from week of June 15

Tina Wrucke

EAA Cross Country Director

2020 Registration

Registration is now closed.


$25 - includes t-shirt 

1st-6th grade 

Program runs from June 17 - July 26