Cross Country Finishes Strong at State

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Cross Country Finishes Strong at State

State Cross Country Old Settlers Park on 11/11/16 in Round Rock, Texas. (Connor Repp / The Talon News)

State Cross Country Old Settlers Park on 11/11/16 in Round Rock, Texas. (Connor Repp / The Talon News)

©The Talon News | Connor Repp

State Cross Country Old Settlers Park on 11/11/16 in Round Rock, Texas. (Connor Repp / The Talon News)

©The Talon News | Connor Repp

©The Talon News | Connor Repp

State Cross Country Old Settlers Park on 11/11/16 in Round Rock, Texas. (Connor Repp / The Talon News)

Brayden Ratcliff, Senior Reporter

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The girls cross country team and senior Ben Splain competed at the state meet in Round Rock, TX on Nov. 12. The girls placed 10th as a team, with individual placements including Splain finishing 11th, freshman Rhyle McKinney in 15th, and freshman Lanie Rodgers in 22nd.

“I think everyone did a great job,” girls’ head cross country coach Kathi Olson said. “You never know how you’re going to react and be at the state level, and our kids did a fantastic job of coming through and running for each other.”

Both the boys and the girls competed against 150 other runners from around the state in their events.

“Being a freshman, it’s different because there are so many older competitors,” McKinney said. “However, I loved the feeling that I was young and I could compete against them.”

In order to prepare for the state meet, students started training early on in the season.

“When we saw how good we could be, we started to take it more seriously because we knew that we could make it here,” junior captain Kaley Allen said. “We started running on Sundays, and we wouldn’t skip a single day of the week.”

The runners strived to improve their times at each meet, all leading up to the state race.

“If you feel like you’re at a good pace or you are feeling relaxed, then you’re wrong,” Splain said. “You have to learn to push yourself and run through it.”

State Cross Country Old Settlers Park on 11/11/16 in Round Rock, Texas. (Connor Repp / The Talon News)

©The Talon News | Connor Repp
State Cross Country Old Settlers Park on 11/11/16 in Round Rock, Texas. (Connor Repp / The Talon News)

Splain shared a philosophy that helped push him throughout his high school career.

“If you start thinking negative thoughts or if you start looking down on yourself, you are going to end up like that–and that is the worst feeling,” Splain said. “No matter what you do, having a positive mentality is the most important thing.”

Running together since early August brought a unique aspect to the team.

“I think one thing that happens every year that people don’t really see from the outside is how close the girls become,” Olson said. “It doesn’t matter what they do outside of cross country; they end up not only running for themselves but also running for each other.”

While cross country will be losing seniors this year, the team is optimistic for their future.

“I’m going to work harder and harder because I know I can do better each year,” McKinney said. “I can’t wait to make it back to state next year.”

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