By Sara Smith
Cross Country athletes endure grueling training, and demonstrate stamina and perseverance. They push themselves to improve, and race against themselves as much as they race against the clock. Constantly pushing their bodies to go further, do more.
On Saturday, October 28th, all of that training and pushing paid off for junior Haylee Gordon and sophomore Asher Applegate as they both qualified to move on to the state championship during the MSHSAA Class 1 District 3 meet hosted by South Callaway High School in Mokane, MO.
Varsity athletes run 5000 meter races (5K), or 3 miles and 188 yards to those of us not using the metric system. According to Wikipedia, this is the equivalent of 12 ½ laps around a standard track. Middle school (junior high) competitors run anywhere from 2500 meters to 3200 meters at a meet. 3200 meters is just shy of two miles.
Each course comes with its own challenges as the competitors run (as the name suggests) over hills, around curves, and through the open field. No matter the course configuration, this is not a competition a person should come to unprepared. Coach Holly Fischer is helping the athletes to prepare at practice, often requiring that they run farther in practice than they will at a meet. This helps to improve stamina and speed.
The varsity team had three female and two male competitors this season. There was one senior, Angelica Collese, three juniors Rylynn Crabtree, Haylee Gordon, and Gabriel Kimbrell. The team also included one sophomore, Asher Applegate.
The varsity team had nine meets during the regular season.