Cross Country team falls short of state

This past August, the cross country team took its annual trip to Michigan for cross country camp. During the week, the team had its team meeting, in which everybody goes around and states both their individual goals and their goals for the entire team. The number one team goal was unanimous—to make it out of regionals and to the state meet as a team. A tremendous amount of work was put in this season, even more than in years past. Captain Kevin Laiveling had this to say about the team’s work ethic, “The work ethic was a reflection of our expectations. We knew we had the potential to be one of the top teams around, but we also knew that it would require us to push ourselves in practice to make the dream a reality.” This hard work paid off, as the team improved tremendously from last year. Last year, the Elder cross country team did not make it out of the District meet. This was the first time in Coach Spencer’s coaching career that the team did not at least qualify for the Regional meet. The team placed fourth in the District race at Mason—a strong enough finish to send the Purple Pack up to Troy the following weekend of October 27th for the Regional meet. Finishing top three, respectively in Elder’s District race were St. Xavier, Turpin, and Oak Hills. Going into the regional meet last week, the team knew it was going to be tough. They knew that, in order to qualify for the state level, every runner in the Top Seven would have to have his best race. Unfortunately the runners couldn’t put it together when it mattered. The team placed 9th out of 16, with only the top four teams moving on to the next level of competition. While this year wasn’t what the team was hoping for, they have definitely improved from last year and have taken the steps to go all the way next year. The runners will continue running hard workouts to keep them in shape but will also institute new aspects to their training. Junior Jonny Reiter explains how he will make changes in his personal life in order to make himself a better runner: “Next summer, I will be changing my diet as well as adding in more lifting in order to prepare myself for the cross country season.” For the juniors—Logan Steiner, Johnny Reiter, and Adam Gardner, as well as the lone sophomore—Eric Huff—who have varsity experience, training for next year starts now. These top guys will have one week off before they start running for track season. For these guys, the road to state doesn’t start next summer, but, rather, next week. “This track season I want to run the mile in the low 4:30’s. I would also like to run the varsity 4×8” says Eric Huff, “I think it would give me more varsity experience which would, in turn, help build confidence and make me a better cross country runner.”