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Running into the season

A look into the upcoming 2017-2018 cross-country season

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The boys ready themselves for the race as coach Ed Shephard talks to them about the course.

The boys ready themselves for the race as coach Ed Shephard talks to them about the course.

The boys ready themselves for the race as coach Ed Shephard talks to them about the course.

Claudia Huggins, Managing Editor

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As the start of school comes around, so do cross-country meets. However, this is hardly the beginning. Not only does July bring warm afternoons and long nights, but for cross-country runners, also morning workouts.

Cross-country coach Ed Shephard has been conditioning his team since mid-July, starting at 9 a.m. nearly every weekday, until just recently when they began after school every day there isn’t a meet.

On Aug. 23, a scrimmage hosted by Freedom at Brush Creek Park, the home course, took place. Brush Creek consists of a five kilometer course, which is just over three miles. Sophomore Adam Hessler took first running the course in 18 minutes and nine seconds.

Freshman Bailey Roberts lead the Freedom girls’ run times with 26 minutes and six seconds. Roberts has been running for three years now participating in middle school track and field where she was a long distance runner. This year, she plans to venture out and try hurdles during her first year on the high school team.

Roberts explained her worries for this year, however she was not shy about her excitement in the least.

“I think the thing that might worry me a little bit are the bigger races, like this one. But I just did it! So I’m not that concerned. We may have lost some key runners, but I think this season is going to be a good one,” Roberts said.

She also explained that after losing teammates that graduated, the newest seniors have stepped up to be the motivators and teachers to the younger kids on the team, like herself.

“Jarrett was our main motivator before races, but now that he’s gone, Austin has taken his place by helping us if we need it and always making sure we believe in ourselves,” Roberts said, speaking about senior Austin Schroeder, the only senior boy this year.

Senior girls this year include Paige Velemirovich and Brittany Freed.

“I think we’re going to have a great year. The kids have worked really hard over the summer and they continue to everyday,” Shephard said explaining his excitement for the upcoming season.

Junior Ethan Paxton spoke briefly about the team and what the participants mean to him personally.

“I think the season is going to go well. Adam went to states last year and has the ability to go again. Everyone puts in a lot of work and it really pays off,” Paxton said, “even though we lost Jarrett, we’re still a young team with the ability to grow and get better as the season goes on.”

All in all, the team and the coaches expressed their excitement for the upcoming season as a “young and energetic team,” as Hessler described.

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Freedom Area High School's Student Newspaper
Running into the season