The El Dorado Springs High School cross-country team is off to an exciting start to the season. The program continues to grow and improve in the results. When comparing times from this year to times from last year on the same course there is tremendous improvement from the Eldo runners.
Coach Brian Goatley said, “The only thing you can ask an athlete to do is keep improving from year to year and these runners are doing exactly that.”
The biggest reason for the improvement this year is the amount of work the runners put in during the off-season.
The coach said, “The majority of our returning athletes put in hundreds of miles of running over the off season and that is a direct correlation to the success they are having.”
On Tuesday, Sep. 24, the Bulldogs traveled to Stockton to compete on a tough Stockton course. The meet gave medals to the top 25 finishers in varsity races and top 10 finishers in the middle school races. The Bulldogs had 10 athletes medal at the meet. Leading the way for the Bulldogs was Tessa Durnell (Sophomore) who finished 2nd in the varsity girls race with a time of 21:27. Tessa battled 2012 All-State runner Rachel Bareford (Sr.) from Strafford all race and came up a little short in the end.
“Tessa came in with a race plan and executed it well for two miles. She learned a lot in the third mile and will be better prepared next time she is in a tough race like this. It really shows how high Tessa’s expectations are when she can finish second in a race and be a little disappointed,” the coach said.
Tessa improved by two minutes from her 2012 time.
On the boys side the top five varsity boys medaled. The boys were led by Tommy Cornejo (Sophomore) 6th/18:30, a one minute improvement from 2012, followed by Tyler Goatley (Freshman) 12th/19:02, Richard Lyness (Junior) 13th/19:04, 1:30 improvement from 2012, Ronnie Bohrer (So.) 15th/19:07, 1:30 improvement from 2012 and Tyler O’Banion (So.) 20th/ 20:09, a 30 sec. improvement from 2012. The coaches are very excited about the boy’s team this year.
The coach said, “These guys have a ton of potential and if they can stay focused they will have a great chance to qualify some individuals to state.”
Tyler Goatley had the best race for the High School boys and went from the 4th man to the 2nd man.
Coach Goatley said, “Tyler just decided he wanted to run with the top guys and went out and got it done. We hope this is a sign of things to come for him.”
In the Middle School races Chris Reddick led the way for the boys placing 6th. The girls had three runners medal led by Ashley Knoll who placed 2nd followed by Jace Cundiff 6th and Emily Ring 9th.
Coach Josh Smith said, “These Middle School athletes are doing a terrific job and seeing early success. Our hope is these kids will get a good understanding of cross-country and get prepared for high school. These runners have improved an unbelievable amount from the first day and they are starting to see all the hard work pay off.”
On Sept. 28, the Bulldogs traveled to Hermitage for a large race near the Pomme de Terre Dam. The race is run with all schools together, but the results are split between large schools and small schools with the top 30 medaling in each race.
Chris Reddick set the tone early with a 6th place finish in the Middle School boy’s race. This was a 1 minute improvement from 2012. Ashley Knoll medaled in the girl’s race finishing 9th, while also improving her time from 2012. The varsity girls were led by Katie Bruggeman (Jr.) who finished 16th. Tessa Durnell did not run at Hermitage because of a scheduled rest day.
The varsity boys had the best race of the year to this point. The team placed 1st in the small school division and 3rd overall. ElDo beat large schools such as Bolivar, Lebanon and Clinton as well as all the small schools in attendance.
All top five varsity boys medaled at Hermitage. The boys were led by Tommy Cornejo 7th/18:50, 25 sec. improvement from 2012. Finishing closely behind Tommy were Ronnie Bohrer 10th/19:04, Tyler Goatley 11th 19:05, Richard Lyness 13th/19:07 and Tyler O’Banion 23rd/19:55. All the boys improved by one minute or more from 2012.
Coach Goatley said, “It is really exciting to go up against big and small schools and still have success. These boys are starting to come together and run as a pack. This team is just starting scratch the surface of their full potential.”
The day was capped off by three JV boys and one JV girl earning medals. The boys were led by Wyatt Cartwright (Freshman) finish 12th, Travis Cameron (Junior) 14th and Landon Mays (Sophomore) 15th. The Jv boy’s team placed second as a team at the meet. Coach Smith said, “These boys are really fighting to earn a varsity spot. The competition to be top seven is making the whole team better.”
Candice Loane was the only girl JV runner for the Bulldogs. Candice finished 7th and earned her second medal of the season.
The Bulldogs schedule really heated up this week as they travelled to Lamar on Tuesday, Oct. 1, and to the University of Arkansas on Saturday, Oct. 5.
Coach Goatley said, “These are two meets we have had circled on our calendar since the summer. Lamar is hosting districts this year so it is good to see the course early and Arkansas is a huge meet the will prepare our athletes for the state meet.”