by Head Coach Brian Goatley

The El Dorado Springs High School cross country team has gotten off to a great start this year. On Saturday, September 17, the High School team traveled to Joplin to compete at the MSSU Stampede looking for good times. The course didn’t disappoint. We took 11 athletes and 10 of them set personal records, with the other participant, setting a season best.

As a coach you can’t ask for anything more, and yet there was more to this story, as we also saw two new school records set. Tyler Goatley broke his own school record with a time of 16:16.50 which is 19 seconds faster than his previous school record, set last year at the same place. Also, Ashley Knoll broke the girls school record, which was previously held by Tessa Durnell, with a time 19:55, becoming the first girl in school history to break the 20 minute barrier in high school.

Overall it was an incredible day. The conditions were overcast, with just a light mist, yet despite the rain from the night before, the course still held up and was solid. The conditions were just perfect for the results we had, and the kids from top to bottom went out and took advantage of it. We were really proud of each and everyone for not holding back, but pushing through to the finish. This began to open our eyes to the possibilities that the future holds.

A short time before this, the team competed at Nevada on Sept. 6. This was the first time that we have competed at Nevada, and unlike the Middle School side, the high school race was a fairly small race. Unlike MSSU, where the kids saw over 300 in each race, at Nevada, the field only consisted of 15-20 runners. A good chance to just get a good effort run in.

On the boys side, Tyler Goatley finished first, followed by teammate Matthew Reddick in 2nd. On the girls side Ashley Knoll was 3rd. Unlike MSSU, the weather conditions weren’t quite so perfect, running in the afternoon, but we competed well none the less.

Next up, we have Stockton on Tuesday, Sept. 20, with Hemitage on Saturday, Sept. 24, then closely followed by Lamar on Tuesday, Sept. 27. This is a busy part of schedule, so periodically we might rest a runner or two, but kids are working hard. If we can make it to October then things begin to settle down and we can start resting in preparation for the post season.