Cross country runners face adversity, compete at state
By Jaci Wallace, staff writer
This past Saturday the Ladyneck Cross Country team made school history as they became the second team from White Oak ever to compete at the State Cross Country Meet held in Round Rock, Texas.
“It’s an amazing feeling to be apart of only the second team to advance this far,” junior Luisa Soto said, “It’s something I’ll always be able to carry with me and be proud of.”
The title was hard fought for through what seemed liked endless summer workouts, new team members and injuries.
“The speed workouts were definitely the hardest workouts we had to go through,” sophomore Cece Hernandez said.
The girls would run these infamous speed works out every Tuesday and Thursday in the blistering heat on the track or at Penick Park. These workouts are meant to increase more solid and faster running despite the distance. They also created some friendly competition between the girls.
“I had to accept that it was okay for Cryslan to be faster than me,” junior Shaynee Tyl, “I learned to use her speed as something to push me to keep up and make me a better runner.”
While some girls increased their ability, some fell behind due to injuries.
“I was hurt most of the season, so staying in race shape was pretty difficult without actually running,” junior Cryslan Tucker said, “but my desire to be the best I could be for my team pushed me through every ache I encountered.”
Despite the road bumps that crossed their paths, the girls recognize what their accomplishment truly means.
“I’m so proud that I’m able to say I was one of the few that accomplished this.” Hernandez said.
Besides all the seriousness and hard work, the season was one of the most enjoyable.
“We were a lot closer this year, and did a lot more outside of school and practice as a team,” Tyl said.
There were many more trips to Chick-Fil-A after runs at Boreman Trail in Longview, more team dinners at Bubba’s 33, and a lot more knick-knacks added to the shed’s wall.
“By far my favorite memory of this season would picking up a couch on the side of the road and surprising Coach Hutchins with it back at the shed.” Tyl said.
As the girls grew closer, teamwork was something that held the girls together and pushed them actually achieve this accomplishment.
“Even though cross country is considered an individual sport, I wasn’t competing for myself,” Soto said. “I was competing for a team that needs all its members to compete well.”