The Summer 2021 Practice Schedule

Some details about our summer plans.

First, the practice schedule. Here is the basic plan:

  • Mondays @ 6:30pm @ Apex Nature Park. Meet at the gazebo next to the tennis courts. The focus of these nights is speed, but we’re still building our base right now.
  • Thursdays @ 6:30pm @ Hilltop-Needmore Park. Meet under the big tree next to the (old) clubhouse. The focus of these nights is distance, but we’ll add some variety to these nights.
  • Saturdays @ 7:30am @ Sugg Farm. Meet near the gate at the end of Grigsby Ave. The focus of these mornings is hill work and general fitness.

Second, the meet schedule is developing, but you can check out that page on our site for the latest news.

Third, it’s time to begin your registration process. Go to the registration page on the site to work through the various steps for registration. If you need a uniform, we’ll be handling that in a week or two. We’re making some changes this year.

Fourth, though you likely know this already, but here is our current team of volunteers making the year happen:

  • Daniel Baker, AD
  • Jim Martin, Head Coach
  • Josiah Ruhl, Head Coach
  • Elias Ruhl, Head Coach
  • Henry Noel, Assistant Coach
  • Josh Ruhl, Assistant Coach
  • Caleb Weathers, Assistant Coach
  • Ana Maria Fraticelli, Team Mom
  • Karen Adams, Team Mom

What a gift to be able to honor God with our bodies through a sport like cross country. As the apostle said, “And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him” (Colossians 3:17). Of course, he had cross country in mind when he said that! We want our actions and words in our practices and meets to be “in the name of the Lord Jesus”—which means done so that others would praise him, done consistently with his holiness and character, and done with an awareness of him as we workout.

We hope 2021 is a great season of growth for you—as a runner but especially in your walk with Christ.


June 7th – 1st Practice – Some Details

Hello, everyone! The season is almost here. Here are some details on our summer running and fall season: 

1. 1st practice will be June 7th at Hilltop-Needmore Park, 6pm. We’ll meet with the parents a bit and have the kids do some running. 

The plan for now is Hilltop-Needmore on Mon and Thursday at 6pm and then Sugg Farm (2401 Grigsby Avenue, Holly Springs, NC 27540) on Saturday mornings at 7:30am. 

2. The coaches for this year will be me, Jim Martin, and Josiah Ruhl. But…we need some assistant coaches to help with practices and maybe manage an occasional one if one of us can’t be there. Usually this is only once or twice per season. Are you interested? Shoot me an email and let me know.

3. I’m pleased to announce this year that Ana Maria Fraticelli and Karen Adams will be our team managers (team moms). They bring a lot of energy and commitment to the team and also a desire to see us grow in our organization.

4. Along these lines we’ll be using TeamSnap app for schedules, RSVP for meets, etc. Details coming about that. Likely it’ll be July when we get that set up. Until then, we’ll use our Google Group pretty exclusively.

5. The registration deadline for this year is June 30th. Till then, feel free to run with us and see if this is what you’d like to do for the fall season. 

6. One other change for the year is that we’ll have some track workouts with Josh Estepp who is coaching the Heritage Academy cross country team. Details coming.

See you soon! Feel free to ask if you have questions I didn’t answer. 


New Location Added for Tonight

Sorry, more details would have been helpful. Here’s the link for a map of the Hilltop-Needmore Park:

We’ll meet there at 6pm.

Basically, varsity will work off the Red path, middle school will work on the yellow path, and parents/littles will work on the blue path. This will be at the start, at least.

The two issues we have to deal with now are keeping below that 25-person limit and also COVID itself. If you have had exposure to COVID, please stay home. For the 25-person limit, we should be good if we keep to these three groups.

And…hydrate. It’s hot. Drink a good amount of water but mix in some non-water so you don’t get too low on your sodium and other nutrients.


Basic Summer Plan for Cary Fire

We started last night. Through the season our basic practice plan is:
Time: Mondays 6-7:30pm
Coach: Daniel Baker (919-624-9858, email Daniel)
Location: Symphony Lake in Regency Park (occasionally Hilltop-Needmore park)
Focus: Speed (eventually)
Time: Thursdays 6:30-8pm
Coach: Jim Martin (919-624-8685, email Jim)
Location: New Hill Tobacco Trail (1309 New Hill Olive Chapel Rd, Apex, NC 27502)
Focus: Distance
Time: Saturdays 7:30-9am
Coach: Josiah Ruhl (919-208-7908, email Josiah)
Location: Sugg Farm in Holly Springs
Focus: Hills (eventually)
And…some notes about meets this season. Right now these are just some ideas. We won’t do multiple travel meets but likely choose one (Liberty or Nashville, not both):
  • Dual/triple meets with some homeschool clubs
  • Shooting for a few meets that are middle school only
  • Corinth-Holders High School (late August)
  • Pioneer Clash of the Classes – Boone, NC – Aug 22
  • Jungle Run – Sept 5th (Sat)
  • Smithfield-Selma Invitational – Sep 19th (Sat)
  • Greensboro Invitational – Sept 26 (Micah Winn ran this last year)
  • Lynchburg, VA HSPN – Oct 2–3 Liberty University (this would replace Nashville if we run it)
  • Great American Cross Country Festival Wake Med – Oct 3 (individual entry only, $45 per)
  • NCHEAC State Meet Greensboro – Oct 9 – Hagan-Stone State Park
  • Nashville Nationals – Nov 1 (based on previous years)
  • Foot Locker Regionals Charlotte – Nov 28 (based on previous years)
  • This site gives a number of NC xc races
  • Timed park runs in Durham – these were good fillers for us last year

Boys Win Homeschool Nationals!


Congratulations to our varsity boys for taking 1st place at both states and nationals (scroll down to Nov 2, 2019, to see meet results for nationals). This is definitely a team victory. Having a top finisher helps a ton, but it takes a team to win an event like these. You can see all results for the national meet here.

In the varsity girls race several got PRs, which was true of our boys as well. Harder to determine that with the middle schoolers since they run a 2.1-mile course at nationals. This was a highly competitive race overall, with the top 10 girls coming in under 20′ and the top varsity boy finishing in a Flash-like 15:24. Of course, we were part of that competitiveness with our top 7 varsity boys coming in under 18′.

In the state meet, kudos to the middle school girls for taking 1st place and the middle school boys for being runner-up.

You guys have worked hard for a long time now. Well done!! You can’t predict the outcomes of races, but hard work is an achievement in itself that will stick with you throughout your lives. The coaches are extremely proud of you.

Daniel B


Pre-Season Training – Starts Monday, June 3rd

The 2019 season begins with pre-season workouts on Monday, June 3rd. To start the pre-season training, fill out this waiver. Email it back to me ( or bring a copy to one of the practices. This will serve as your initial registration.

Here’s our basic summer schedule (though keep up with our Google group for changes on a given night or week):

  • Mondays – 6:00pm – Symphony Lake Greenway (lake near Koka Booth Amphitheater in Cary). Meet in the official parking lot for the Greenway (marked “P” on the map at the town website). Practices run by Daniel Baker.
  • Thursdays – 6:30pm – Apex Nature Park. Practices run by Elias and Dawn Ruhl.
  • Saturdays – 7:30am – Sugg Farm in Holly Springs. Practices run by Josiah Ruhl.

Any other questions, send them to me (




Updated Winter & Spring Races

Updated link for the Moncure Panther Prowl…



Some Winter and Spring Races

I asked our crew what races they’re running or thinking about running. Here’s the list:



Well done, Cary Fire!!

Praise God for a great season! 1st place for both boys and girls at the NCHEAC state meet. 3rd place for the boys at the Homeschool Nationals meet in Nashville, TN. You all demonstrated true grit, godly competitiveness, good teamwork, and the desire to support one another through the ups and downs of a cross country season. It was a true privilege for all the coaches to work with you guys—me, Josiah Ruhl, Elias Ruhl, and Dawn Ruhl. We hope to see all of you back next year!