By JD McKay
Just before 7 a.m. the boys’ and girls’ cross country teams wake up from their night of restless sleep in the humid, unairconditioned cabin. After throwing on their running gear they are ready to go for the first run of the day.
After one week of cross country camp, each runner put in between 40 and 60 miles, but it was all for the goal of going deeper into the state tournament than the team did last year.
“Having the success we had last year was very encouraging,” said junior Sydney Liddle. “This year we want to repeat winning sectionals and regionals and win semi-state.”
Last year the girls had a successful season, winning conference, sectionals, and regionals. That success was led by two senior runners — Faith Barba, who finished third in sectionals, and regional champion Kyley Sorg — but the team said they can carry on the success.
“I think it will be tough to hang to conference, sectionals, and regionals championships, but we have some pretty solid freshmen and new girls, so I think we will be fine,” said junior Kyleigh Leslie-Holt.
Last year’s boys’ team did not win conference or sectionals like the girls, but it was a young group.
“We did not have any important runners graduate last year, so we are fairly loaded,” said boys’ head coach Tim Korte.
However, they did lose one team leader that will be hard to replace.
“Conrad Hauser — he didn’t have a big varsity role, but he was always around, always worked hard, and pushed everyone to work as hard as they could,” said senior Ross Ellis.
The boys’ team was not able to win conference last year, so this year, that is one of their goals.
“We had a really good summer,” said junior Luke Heinemann. “So we just need to keep pushing, so I think we are in a good spot.”