Comfortable being uncomfortable

Mary Kate Moeder

Success arises from dedication, the ability to overcome adversity, and close connections formed between teammates. 

The girls’ and boys’ cross country seasons came to an end at districts on October 21. Although they had to end their seasons earlier than they wanted, both teams earned plenty of accomplishments that deserve to be recognized. 

The girls team had three runners set personal records in the state qualifying meet alone, along with many runners who came close. Eden Campbell and Alma Cosgrove ran personal bests, and Mary Clare Bean ran her season best.

It is apparent that the strong connection that the girls team possessed allowed each of them to achieve their own individual successes. Senior, Lizzy Schmitt, explains her love for the people on the team. 

“They are so supportive and we have all created such a bond through running,” Schmitt said.

Lizzy Schmitt led the team all season long. She set a personal record two times this season but those records did not come easy. 

“I have learned to be comfortable with being uncomfortable,” Schmitt said. “You have to push yourself past the pain you are feeling.” 

The girls not only showed improvement at districts, but throughout the entire season. 

“At our second to last meet of the regular season at Linn-Mar there were 8 girls who ran PR’s or had season best performances, and at the last meet of the regular season in Dubuque there were ten girls who ran PR’s or had a season best performance,” Head girls’ cross country Coach, Bryan Jones, said. 

Jones explains how their success comes from the hard work they put into the entire season. 

“All of the effort they were able to give in each practice, in each racing opportunity, came to fruition and was on full display in the championship phase of the season and they should be very proud of themselves,” Jones said. 

Not only did the girls teams have multiple achievements, the boys cross country team did as well.

“In our last three meets of the season, our boys team as a whole ran twenty-one personal records of thirty-five race attempts (60%) which is a very high percentage,” Head boys’ cross country Coach, Nathan Hopp, said. “As a coach, the thought of this is hard to comprehend given the difficulty to run a personal record, but given the boys’ commitment and drive to finish the season on a strong note, this doesn’t surprise me.”

The boys team had six of those personal bests at the state qualifying meet. Those six runners included: Alec Battien, Marcus Camacho, Bryor Hansel, Brady Horstmann, Lucas Lowder, and John Trotta.

Throughout the season, the boys team was led by senior, Bryor Hansel. He had a personal record at almost every meet.

“My mindset was if I did not PR it was a wasted meet to an extent,” Hansel said.

The boys team also appeared to have a close bond, much like the girls team. 

“Every member of the team played a role in each other’s success at season’s end which is great to see moving forward,” Hopp said. 

Hansel explains how he will miss the whole team aspect and having a great time with everyone. The loss of senior leadership is something that both teams will miss dearly.

“As it is with every season, you wish you didn’t have to see the seniors go, especially the ones who’ve been with the program all four years,” Jones said.

Although both teams will miss their seniors, the coaches are hopeful for the next season. 

“I’m optimistic about where we will be next year as a team,” Hopp said. “We will lose some outstanding senior athletes but return a good number of varsity athletes that will be focused to exceed what we accomplished this year.”

Jones explains how he feels confident with where the team is looking for next season. 

“Looking ahead toward next year’s season, I think those that will be sticking around, some who have been with the program and some who joined us for the first time this season, have shown that they are willing to work hard, get after it, and to make the next cross country season the best one they can and that is always exciting,” Jones said.

 It is always hard to say goodbye to the seniors, but there is something to be said for both coaches and the faith that they have already expressed towards next year’s teams.