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The Blue and Gold

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Out with the Old, In with the New

Sean Simms
Cross country team celebrating after hosting pre-region meet

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This year’s cross-country team is energetic and has many more young runners than last year. The first meet was on Saturday, Aug. 26th at Woodmont High School. All of the the varsity boys lettered, meaning they obtained a 5K time of below 20 minutes. This was a much better result than that of last year and is extremely promising for the season ahead. Coach King said, “Last year our first meet was at our home course, which has a lot of changes in elevation and hills.” It was also a blazing hot day, resulting in many slower times. The next meet our Devildogs ran was called the Eye-Opener. This race was the largest race that the team will run all year. Both the boys and girls teams ran in the championship race, and the girls are now placed 8th in the state. As of now, our Devildogs have high hopes for this season and will continue to progress throughout the coming months.

Rick Veazey
Top 3 varsity boy runners at finish line, left to right: Henry Waldrep, Parker Thieme, and Toby Foster

After last year’s stunning state performance by the TRHS cross-country team, Coach King has lost 14 seniors, seven who were varsity runners. Varsity boys Will Barnett, Logan Childs, Seth King, Elijah Johnson, Bubba Philpot, and Drew Golden have all left the team. Female varsity captains Becca Woodard and Claudia Nix have also graduated. The only returning varsity runner for the boys is captain Parker Thieme, who now leads the team with the fastest 5K personal record of 17 minutes and 16 seconds. The fastest time last year was 16 minutes and 12 seconds by Will Barnett. Varsity runner Toby Foster says, “Regardless of lost runners, the entire team is excited and ready to perform in the season ahead.”

The depth of runners in the past few years has unfortunately diminished, as runners have left for club sports and other schools. The cross-country team in recent years has lost runners to travel soccer and Greer Middle College in particular. Coach King is working hard to recruit middle schoolers so that they start their running careers early. Coach King stated, “I just have to keep in mind to start young, and maybe in two or three years they can be very competitive like last year’s boys team.” He hopes to get kids into distance running so that they stick to it and enjoy it. As of now, our Devildogs have high hopes for this season and will continue to progress throughout the coming months.

Rick Veazey
Girls cross-country team before running

 

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