For many, the season's demands and grueling workouts culminated in peak performances on the cool, breezy Saturday at the Sunflower League Cross Country Championships. Many were seniors, as well. They ran their last races of their high school careers; their last races with their teammates. Only a handful have ran all four years together and grown to know and care for one-another. So, it was a bittersweet ending to a season that flew by without waiting for us to catch our breath.
I love this time of year, though — the leaves are slowly transitioning from that vibrant green to that stunning red to the impending-wintery brown. The weather is chilly and crisp where a sweatshirt is needed along with that familiar CC stocking cap to keep the ears from crystalizing. All of this could be seen on Saturday as the team huddled for warmth beneath the cross-country tent; the Chesty Lion emblazoned across the top signifying our presence.
The races got underway without a hitch. The varsity teams were up first with the sun peaking through the clouds and the wind dying to a halt. The competition proved to be stiff as both races blazed through the first mile in phenomenal times (4:48 for guys and 5:45 for girls). But the girls maintained their positions and pressed forward; eating up the competition over the remaining two miles to finish an 7-year best, 7th place. The boys hit the mile in good standing but faded as the race progressed. While not our best showing, we did set ourselves up for something special come regionals.
The rest of the runners performed admirably in what turned out to be their final races of the season. They all competed well and some snagged up some hardware while others snagged memories and the realization of the finality of the meet. Tears were shed by many and hugs were given by all.
It was an emotional farewell to our seniors but I hope to have captured their last meet in all its glory through the photos that were taken.
We wish all the best to the seniors as they finish out their senior year of high school and continue on with their lives thereafter. Whatever you decide to do in life, do it to the best of your abilities and continue to reach towards that beautiful sense of fulfillment and enlightenment.
-- The Coaches