Fifteen Runners, Three Miles, One Team

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Fifteen Runners, Three Miles, One Team

Delaney Ham, Reporter

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Run for your life… or for a medal! The Holdrege Cross Country Team’s season has been off to a great start. This year, the team has fifteen runners: three seniors, four juniors, one sophomore, and seven freshmen. With lower numbers in cross country than in other fall sports, the team exemplifies how strength comes from determination and teamwork. Team status for placement at meets is much more difficult for our girls this year since their numbers are lower, so they’re working on helping each other improve and having fun doing what they love. When I asked senior Kenzie Hurlbert about her small team of four girls, she said, “It’s more that we just focus on pushing each other. We don’t have many girls, so we just want everyone to perform their best.”

Having fewer runners also has an effect on the culture of the team. When asked if he feels connected to his team, Carter Newth, a senior, answered, “Yeah, because the team’s smaller so you know everybody better. We form friendships by talking with each other, and through our common interests. We’re all working towards the same goal to go to state.” Stephanie Fuehrer, the coach for both boys and girls cross country, also said that she feels connected to the group. Following this, I asked her how she forms these relations. “I guess I would say meeting with the kids individually, really listening to what they say, and trying to make some sort of a connection with them every day. I also write individual notes after every meet,” she responded.

This year, their goal is to make it to state: the boys as a team and the girls individually. Each runner also has his or her own goal for each meet. “The runners’ goals are pretty realistic; the boys want to finish in the top three, have two to three people place each meet, set a personal record (PR), do their best, and have fun,” said Coach Fuehrer. Coby Anderson, a senior, shared one of his objectives as well. “I’d like us to all be able to run under our time goal. Working a lot harder in practice and sticking with the top guys will build everyone’s confidence up and make us stronger,” he said. Kenzie answered, “I just hope to get even closer with my teammates and continue to have fun with it. My favorite part is probably the people because with how hard the workouts are, everyone gets close and goes through them together.”

Bryant Fulmer, Kenzie Hurlbert, and Lacy Biltoft will be represented Holdrege at the state meet on October 25th in Kearney. Although they competed individually, the team ran as one… a great example of how teamwork unifies.