Cross Country seasons come to an end


Johannah Larson, Staff

The Starkville Cross Country team made many memories this season. The team competed in seven meets: Myrtle XC Invitational, Mississippi College High School season opener, Saltillo cross country invitational, Starkville High School invitational, Mc Watson Ford invitational, South Pontotoc invitational, and the MHSAA 2A-4A-6A State cross country championships.
The Jackets faced challenges throughout the season. On Saturday, October 20, the XC team traveled to the South Pontotoc Invitational. There were unfavorable conditions due to heavy rain all morning, but the Jackets pushed through and came home with some new hardware. Throughout the tough conditions the runners pursued and ended up having a good time also.                                                       Sophomore Claire Potts runs with 4 years experience.
“It was the most fun meet of my life,” Potts said.                                                                                                Throughout all the complications the Jackets pulled through with the varsity girls placing 4th and the varsity boys earning 2nd place.                                                                                                                          Junior Lane Spradling has run for the Jackets for three years.
“State meet was not our best meet due to sickness and injuries, but we managed to pull through. It was not what we hoped but we had several personal records across the team,” Spradling said.
The Jackets faced a few challenges at the state meet. They had a last-minute substitute step in 10 minutes before the start line for the ladies’ race. Campbell Strickland stepped up for her team.
“I felt pretty good about the meet. It was an off-day for a bunch of people on the team and we didn’t finish where we wanted but everyone did their best,” Strickland said.                                                             The coaching staff is comprised of head coach Meghan Franks and assistant Coach Pierson.
Potts said they [the coaches] care about their team and she is appreciative of that. She admits cross country is a challenging sport but enjoys it more with such encouraging coaches and teammates.
“I enjoy the fact that I’m always challenging myself. Every race is against my old time, and every time I beat it, it shows how much the time and effort I put into this sport has paid off,” junior Caroline Nobles said.
Overall, this season was a hard-fought one by the Jackets, having to deal with weather, sicknesses and injuries but the seniors helped the team stay strong.
“I think that next year the team will really feel the loss of our seniors, but there are a lot of younger people on the team who are talented, so it won’t affect us as much as it normally would,” Strickland said. 

Sarah Bailey Zimmerman, a junior runner for the team, agrees with Strickland in that next season without the leadership of the seniors will be tough but believes the younger runners are ready to take the leadership positions. “They [seniors] were so encouraging and such a great example for us, but at the same time the juniors and sophomores are ready to step up and take that responsibility of leading the team and being that example for the new members,” Zimmerman said. 

The runners look forward to the next season which begins in late July; however, the majority of the team plans to compete in Indoor track season this winter and in track and field during the Spring.