By KAITLYNN LITTLE, reporter
Friday, Nov. 16, 2018
The Sterling College men’s and women’s cross country team finished their season competing at the KCAC Conference Championship race, Saturday, Nov. 3, at Bethel College. Both teams placed ninth overall, with their top runner, sophomore Jasmine Travelbee, placing thirtieth-–just ten spots away from qualifying for nationals.
The team faced some challenges this fall battling injuries and merging young runners into the program. The result of all their training was revealed at conference, and freshman Zach McCammon said that opportunity for a comeback was rewarding.
“I will always remember how well we pulled together and finished the season strong,” said McCammon.
The two teams had ran the Bethel course twice already this season, so senior Abby Reed said that helped them feel confident during the race.
“Going into the meet, the girls were projected to place eleventh, so we did do better than what was expected for us. I think it could have been considered a successful meet before the race even finished just because we had all 8 girls racing for the first time all season. Everyone competed really well and I think the majority of the team ran a personal best, which is always exciting,” Reed said.
Though the runners entered the season with running goals and scholarships, the bonding aspect of the team is equally important, if not more important than the medals and qualifications.
“This season brought us all closer to each other in friendship. We have been through thick and thin these past few months, and each circumstance has helped create a tight, lasting bond between us,” sophomore Evelyn Barnhart said.
Head coach Jack Dillard was proud of his athletes, and looks forward to continued growth and development during track season.
“Our student athletes competed with courage and strength. Both men’s and women’s teams ran very smart tactical races that helped everyone overall,” Dillard said.
Senior Abby Reed looks forward to training and racing for track season with the team, and helping each other be the best athletes and people they can be.
“I’m looking forward to track season because it gives everyone the opportunity to do their specialty. In cross country, every girl runs the same distance and every guy runs the same distance. So track allows for a little more individuality in what people get to do. And those on the team that don’t run cross country have been working hard all fall, so I’m looking forward to being able to cheer them on in their throwing and sprinting like they cheered us on all fall,” Reed said.
At the end of each season, the coaches award a male and female athlete with a Giving Tree, to recognize their outstanding commitment to the team through their time, effort, and attitude on and off the course. This season’s award recipients were Abby Reed and Zach McCammon.