by Payton Babcock & Kiley Studer, Dawg Pack staff reporters
Do you ever wonder what motivates a student to run on the cross country team? The Dawg Pack was curious to learn this, so we interviewed EMS runners to find the secret of the sport.
• Darrien Roberts admits he first joined the cross country team because his friends talked him into it, but now he really enjoys running with them. He is looking forward to winning races and earning medals. His goal for the season is run three miles without walking.
• Caleb Mooney has raced since he was young, but now loves it. He joined the team so he could compete to prove to his family that he is good. He likes running long distances and hopes to win first place in some of the meets.
• Caleb Miller joined the cross country team after being pressured by his friend, Chris Reddick, but he does really enjoy running with his friends. His goal for the season is to be able to run seven miles without stopping. He said, “I like running because it helps you mentally and challenges you.”
• Jace Cundiff joined the team to try something different. She likes hanging out with her friends in practice, and is hoping to medal this season. She would like to win first place at least once.
• Like Jace, Mikayla Loane wanted to try something new. Her goals for the season includes to finish in the top 10 and being able to run three miles without stopping.
• Gavin Mooney joined cross country because he can run fast. His goal for the season is simple-win.
• Skyler Ricci likes running because it is a fun way to stay in shape. He likes the social interaction. Skyler hopes he will continue to get faster throughout the season. His goal is to be in the top 10 in every race.
• Coach Josh Smith said, “My goals for the season are to do well, win, have fun, enjoy the sport, and get ready for high school level competition.” He looks forward to seeing what his team will accomplish. He feels the team’s strength is the number of runners on it, and the weakness is the lack of experience as Ashley Knoll and Chris Reddick are the only returning runners.
The first cross country meet of the season took place on Sept. 12 at home. Going into the first meet, the team had been told it would be one of the longest and hardest two mile courses of the season. That had many runners worried, but overall the team had a good showing with Ashley Knoll winning first place for the Bulldogs. “Getting first felt awesome. It made me feel like I’m doing this for a reason,” Ashley exclaimed.
Jace Cundiff took 12th. Emily Ring and Mikayla Loane also ran for the girls. With only four female runners they did not qualify as a team. Jace Cundiff was pleased with the race. “It felt really good. I did better than I thought I would,” she said.
Caleb Mooney was the fastest runner for the boys team finishing 13th. Skyler Ricci finished 31st with Gavin Mooney, Caleb Miller, Kyle Allen, and Darrien Roberts not far behind. The boys team finished fourth.
Skyler Ricci was happy with his race. “It felt awesome.” he said. Gavin Mooney was disappointed with his result. “I didn’t try my best,” he said.
The cross country team competed in their second meet of the season in Bolivar on Sept. 17. The team members who competed were: Ashley Knoll, Jace Cundiff, Mikayla Loane, Chris Reddick, Kyle Allen, Caleb Mooney, Gavin Mooney, Skyler Ricci, Caleb Miller, and Darrien Roberts.
Ashley Knoll and Chris Reddick both medaled at the meet. Ashley said, “Although I didn’t meet my goal, I am still proud.” Ashley placed 11th out of 132 girls. Chris Reddick took 16th out of 114 male runners. The boys team finished in tenth place.
IN THE RUNNING – Lindsay Daniel, representing the El Dorado Springs Christian School, ran in the El Dorado Springs High School Cross Country race on Sept. 12. She placed 17 out of 20.