Category Archives: Cross Country

Brother and sister unite in public athletics

By Ashton Beck

When walking into a building for learning and receiving an education, students also come to participate in public school athletics.

Previous homeschooler junior Grant Vellinger arrived to FC, and it was the first time being a full time student in a public school.

“I was homeschooled for nine years. My first year at a public school was my freshman year at Floyd,” said Vellinger.  Along with Vellinger, his sister, sophomore Paige Vellinger also came to FC as a freshman for the same reason.

Grant involves himself in more than one sport.

“I played soccer and ran track my freshman year. Sophomore year I ran cross country and track and I’m doing the same thing this year,” said Grant.  Paige ended up doing the same as Grant.

Before FC, Grant was able to be a part of athletics.

“I played club soccer for Javanon which is a club in Louisville. That was pretty much year round,” said Grant.

Paige also participated in soccer before FC.

“I first played soccer for Graceland Baptist Church until I was in sixth grade then I played with Southern Indiana United,” said Paige.  She also ran on a home schooled cross country team.

Grant enjoys school sports over club.

“Club sports are much more serious. I don’t think club sports are as fun as school sports and mainly because I wasn’t very good friends with the guys on my club team. The guys on the cross country team are like my brothers,” said Grant.

With their athletics being a big priority, Grant’s top priority is his academics.

“My academics come before everything else at FC,” said Grant.

With all the accomplishments Paige and Grant have made at a public school, they have made their mom proud.

“I am very proud of them. I think that public athletics taught them many good life skills like a good work ethic,” said mom Erin Vellinger.

Lady Highlanders beat expectations, finishing 19th at state

Photos submitted by Reagan Kurk

Girls’ cross country going to state this weekend after 12 years

by Jonathan Blaylock

The cross county team is rising up in competition. Tomorrow will be the first time in 12 years the team will go to state competition.

“I’m really glad about going to state,”said senior Jamie Bierman.” I’m really glad it worked out…because we worked our butt off the last four years.”

Coach Carl Hook said he thinks the team will place around fifteenth and will run their race and cross the finish line with pride.

Senior Jamie Bierman and Zoe Doebbler run at semi state in brown county on Oct. 26. Submitted photo by Reagan Kurk.
Senior Jamie Bierman and Zoe Doebbler run at semi state in brown county on Oct. 26. Submitted photo by Reagan Kurk.

Tonight team members are going to Terre Haute to spend the night. Tomorrow morning the seven runners will do a shake out run since they don’t compete until 1 p.m. They will be competing against over 200 runners.

“[This competition] is a great deal for the program. It’s a big step, the program has been at this level before and we’ve been working hard to get back there. So getting there and getting the team back up on that level is a big deal and means a lot,”said Hook.

It’s exciting for the team and junior Cassie Nale said that it brings the team even closer to achieve winning and staying on top. All in all Cross Country wants to run the race and finish it and that is what they plan to do.

Injury causes hardship to cross country runner

By Sydney Sears

Cross country member junior Haley Meyer watches her team sprint off in the distance wishing that she too could be a part of this experience, but for now it will have to wait.

Eight months ago Meyer noticed a discomfort in her leg and discovered that she had a stress fracture. Meyer was told by her doctor that she could not run for two months to allow time for her fracture to heal. As a passionate and disciplined runner, this pessimistic news was devastating.

“I am not able to run in practice or at meets, which sucks because I don’t get to be with my team,” said Meyer.

Teammate Junior Reagan Kurk sympathizes with Meyer.

“Injuries affect you in seemingly every way possible. The constant pain drains you and is tiring. Not being able to do what you love is one of the worst things in the world, especially when it seems like there’s nothing you can do to help it,” said Kurk.

Kurk raves that Meyer still puts in as much effort now as she did before her injury. She explains that Meyer shows up to every practice and cheers them, encouraging her team despite her injury.

Meyer’s cross country coach, Carl Hook, has supported her throughout this entire experience.

“I’ve just tried to encourage her to stay strong and make sure she understands that if you fight through a tough situation you emerge mentally tougher,” said Hook.

In the last eight months Meyer has not had one, but three stress fractures. This has caused more time away from running to heal.

“I know her stress fracture is hugely upsetting her, especially when she is one of the most active people I know,” said Kurk.

For this last fracture, which is located in her upper tibia, the recovery time is three weeks minimum. According to Meyer the recovery time depends on where the fracture is and how well it is taken care of.

Meyer has recently taken up alternatives to running such as running in the water, swimming, biking, and the elliptical.

“I also am trying to eat better to make myself more healthy and try to prevent this from happening again,” she said.

Kurk believes that Meyer is taking every precaution she can to get better and to prevent another fracture from occurring.

Not being able to run for months at a time is bound to stunt someone’s progress. Even with alternatives like swimming, the performance level will not be the same. Cross country runs six to seven days a week, so they are constantly working to get better. This has caused Meyer to suffer from her time off for healing.

“It has made me lose some of my endurance and strength in my legs,” said Meyer.

Hook explained that Meyer knows as a varsity runner that it will be tough to get her spot back after so much time off, but believes that she will snatch the spot right back up when she has the chance.

“An injury like any tough situation can either break you or make you. You either decide to give up or get stronger and as a runner that means swimming and cycling. Haley has worked hard at both of those to stay in shape and hasn’t given up,” said Hook.

Girls’ cross country travels to semi-state

By Alyssa Book

With leaves changing and fall starting, one team at FC wraps up a chapter of their season. At 10:30 a.m. tomorrow, the girls’ cross country team will travel to Brown County to compete in the Indiana semi-state competition.

The girls have advanced to semi-state, and the stakes rise this weekend as the state finals are now in close reach. Striding to the finish line could mean a possible state medal in the weeks to come.

With excitement and nerves surrounding the days leading up to one of the most crucial races of the season, coach Carl Hook said he tries to focus the girls by having them visualize the course, know their competition, and trying to keep them relaxed.

He has prepared the team mentally and physically for this tournament and feels like they are prepared.“The girls are ready and focused on running their best race of the season this weekend at semi-state and advancing to the state finals,” said Hook.

Hook sees Terre Haute South and Evansville North as the team’s biggest competition.

Junior Jamie Bierman thanks that Hook has prepared the team by leading them into this race with a positive attitude and workouts several weeks prior.

Bierman described this weekend as being a time for the team to prove themselves. “Winning isn’t possible for us at semi-state, but advancing to state is. Making it to state would prove all the hard work we’ve put into our running this season.”

Bierman knows she would not be where she is today if not for her teammates. “We think positive and encourage each other. Teamwork is a big thing in cross country because you can’t do this sport alone and have fun,” she said.

Senior Alyssa Moore is preparing for the meet by drinking enough water, getting enough rest, and eating right. With this being her last chance to race, Moore is putting forth her optimal effort.

Moore said there are certain people who have prepared her the most for this pivotal moment. “My coaches and teammates are ultimately the people who prepare and focus me the most. We push each other as teammates and the coaches have guided us here,” said Moore.

At 10:30 tomorrow morning, the results will show of the team’s goal can be fulfilled.

Bierman ended with saying what she wants the legacy of this 2012 season to be: “I want the legacy to be hardwork and dedication. This sport would be nowhere without these two things,” she said.

With the showdown so close, Moore said her team deserves to advance to the state competition. “We have been preparing since June 6. Everything we have done our whole season has all been for this moment.”