3 Cross Country Boys Qualify for State
As you can see we were "close" to reaching some pretty big goals. I have no doubt that each of these young athletes will be able to take 20 seconds off their times and reach these goals next yr. It's an exciting time for the Raider CC teams!
Clark, Challen, and Raymond ALL qualified for State as individuals!
(We took 3 of the 5 non-team qualifying runners. A testament to how tough our kids are and how tough our Regional was.)
Girls finished their season with a 7th place finish at Regionals.
Boys team finished their season with a 5th place finish at Regionals.
The boys Regional was stacked! There were several very strong teams (including the 1st and 3rd ranked teams in the state). Qualifying was a long shot but we were hopeful. Unfortunately we didn't finish in the top 3 and won't be going as a team. This ended a 7yr streak of qualifying every yr. This is not to be placed on the kids though. They showed up and gave many of the best performances I've ever seen. Most of the kids ran PR's and competed with a ton of heart! We just got beat by teams that were better than us. I didn’t know how I would feel when the streak would eventually end (I figured sadness might factor in, so I chose not to think about it much) but was surprised at how I felt when it happened. No sadness at all, they gave everything they had and made me proud. Sometimes you just loose.
Breakdown on the State qualifiers:
Coach and I were worried about individuals being able to finish in the top 10. Challen hasn’t been as fast as normal, Clark has had huge improvements but was still averaging 20 seconds slower than Challen, and Raymond had just started to finish near Clark (but still behind him). Due to the quality of our Regional we had legitimate worries that we might not qualify anyone this yr... We were ecstatic when we heard our 3rd runner’s name called out as a qualifier!
Raymond - First time Cross Country runner. He successfully took 3 minutes off of his time over the season and has worked his way into being a pretty darn good runner. He won some JV meets but was unsure about the 5k distance of the Varsity race. He's pretty comfortable now and it shows. he beat Clark and Challen for the first time and finished as Central's #1 runner and a State Qualifier as a freshman.
Challen - His times haven't been as good as they were last yr... but he is a dang tough kid and runner! He put himself in position to place early and held it. He was our second State qualifier and a true value to the team! I’ve been around a lot of kids who lose confidence when things don’t go their way. Challen isn’t one of them, he simply has a “I’ll take care of it” attitude and the team feeds off of it.
Clark - This kid is averaging 2 minutes a race faster than last yr. That is a huge amount of time to shave off for a seasoned runner! A yr ago he ran one of his fastest races at Regionals and finished 30th (a solid 20 places out of qualifying). This yr with half of a mile to go he put on an incredible sprint to pass 5 kids and take the last remaining qualifying spot. Taking State from 5 other athletes is an incredibly tough thing to do! Clark proved to be the mentally toughest and most fit kid out of the bunch. He has worked long and hard to achieve this!
The Girls team:
Several chronic injuries, a girl allergic to food, a tonsil surgery that got infected and didn’t heal right, and lots of training missed due to physical therapy had us uncertain about being competition ready this weekend. Fortunately everything worked out and we had all 5 girls for the race and they did an outstanding job! In order of finish: Madeline had a great race, Mattie had her all-time best run ever, Breanna had her best run of the yr, as did Alysha, and Cera! These girls competing at the level they did is quite the accomplishment!
The boys team:
I’ve already talked about 3 of them. Michael had the best race of his season, Justin and Logan undoubtedly had the best races of their lives, and Shay put forth a huge effort to finish well on a day that didn’t feel great to him. I’m very excited about the prospects for next yr.
Give them a pat on the back and a congratulations for me. Even when they aren’t favored to win, they are respected competitors which is a testament to their mental toughness and ability to compete at high levels.