Small Town Team With Big Dreams
Gracie Summers
Tuesday, October 23, 2018

   Small Town Team With Big Dreams

This year will be the eighth year to have a full Cross Country schedule with a team. Coach Ray West has coached Cross Country and Track for fifteen years. “Both teams have done extremely well, the level of dedication these athletes have put in over the summer working out and running up to forty miles a week have produced great results,” says Coach West. Between all the groups, they have brought home thirteen plaques and ninety-two medals only this year. When asked if they have improved from last year, West says, “Yes, which is a statement within itself, graduating six women and three men of the state qualifying teams would normally be a difficult endeavor. But this year's runners have risen to pick up where those seniors have left off and continue to build on the path that those men and women have blazed.”

     The team qualified for the state competition last year. When asked if Coach West thinks they will qualify for the state competition again this year, he responded with, “Without question. We have no other option.”

      Elijah Cook is a sophomore here at Heavener High and has run on the team for three years. “When I started running I hated it, but I have grown to like it since then,” says Cook. This season has gone pretty well for him and the Cross Country team. “It seems like we have been constantly getting better at every meet.” There have been injuries this year on the girl's team. Currently, Morgan Smith and Lexi Chick are both hurt, but hopefully, they will both be well enough to compete at regionals on October 13th. The way Cook feels like going into regionals this year is that he believes both teams will make it to the state for the second year in a row. “I guess we’ll find out Saturday if I am right or not,” says Cook.

      Both Men and Women's teams qualified for the state meet.  Christain Martinez, a junior here at Heavener High has run on the cross-country team for five years in counting. When asked what was his first reaction when you heard you made it to the state meet he said: “ I was surprised because I ran horribly, and I had my doubts about making it to the state meet.” It feels great to him that the teams are going back for the second time in a row and he hopes that they can keep the tradition of going to state as a team for years to come. The conditions of the races were awful rain and mud were there worst enemy at the regional competition this year it was a struggle but our outstanding runners still made it to the top!

     The state meet will be held this Saturday, October 20th in Shawnee, Oklahoma. We wish these hard-working athletes the best of luck at the meet and hope they can bring home the gold!

Making it to the state meet is a big accomplishment for this small town team with big dreams!

--Gracie Summers