Toast of the Coast: St. James’ Krier finishes race on the mark

dwetzel@thesunnews.comJanuary 24, 2013 

  • The team Boys Cross Country Runner of the Year Billy Krier School | St. James Class | Senior Highlights | Placed fifth (15:54.34) at Class AAA state meet; region champ and all-state Dustin Conklin School | Carolina Forest Class | Senior Highlights | Won Coastal Carolina Invitational; placed third in Lower State qualifying; region champ Will Caswell School | Socastee Class | Senior Highlights | Placed 14th (16:44.43) at Class AAA state meet; all-region and all-state; set school record Jaz Greene School | Waccamaw Class | Junior Highlights | Placed seventh (16:59.70) at Class AA state meet; all-state Robert Jones School | Waccamaw Class | Junior Highlights | Placed third (16:37.87) at Class AA state meet; all-state Justin Knipper School | Socastee Class | Sophomore Highlights | Placed 17th (16:49.70) at Class AAA state meet; all-region Austin Poisson School | Socastee Class | Senior Highlights | Placed 16th (16:46.47) at Class AAA state meet; all-region; Horry County champ

Billy Krier is a calculated athlete.

He stays in great running shape through intense training, eating right and making sure his sleep patterns are correct. He even familiarizes himself with opposing runners ahead of meets.

On the day of the 2012 cross country state championships, the St. James standout’s goal was to run under 16 minutes for the first time in his career. However, he was missing one thing: his watch.

“I had a feeling I was going to run under 16 because I felt really good at the end. I usually wear a watch during the race, but I wasn’t during that race,” Krier said. “I figured if I wore a watch I’d waste my time looking at it, so I didn’t wear one.”

As usual, his calculation was correct. The senior finished fifth in the Class AAA race with a personal-best 15:54.34, by far the fastest time among area athletes, en route to being named Toast of the Coast Boys Cross Country Runner of the Year.

St. James coach Brian Conary wasn’t surprised by the result one bit.

“That was the plan all along. It didn’t surprise me, but we were excited,” he said. “When Billy sets his mind to something he gets it done.”

It was the culmination of a decorated career for the Sharks’ standout runner who, along with his twin brother Chris, is one of the school’s top academic achievers. Billy Krier’s attention to detail and ability in the classroom never ceased to amaze his coach.

“The first time he won a region championship here we brought everyone to CiCi’s Pizza afterward – the whole team was there and it was around 8 or 9 o’clock at night – and I had to convince him to come because he had a test the next day,” Conary said. “It’s kind of strange when the coach has to convince a kid to come out for pizza instead of going home and studying.”

Krier’s hard work – on and off the course – has paid off. He’s had college offers for cross country and has the track record for academic scholarships.

Krier said both will play into his decision, one he has yet to make. He said running will be an option whether he accepts an athletic scholarship offer or goes to a school in which he will have to walk on.

“I think Billy will end up running in college, but I think he will go with the school that’s the best academically,” Conary said.

Regardless of where he ends up, Krier is appreciative of where he’s been.

“Being recognized for all the hard work I put in all these years is very rewarding,” he said. “[But] having a great coach and great teammates is what makes cross country fun and enjoyable.”

Contact DAVID WETZEL at 626-0295.

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