Run at State: Cross Country places top 15 despite rough conditions

Ty Nguyen

In mud up to their knees, the cross country athletes ran the 5 thousand meters for boys and 3200 meters for the girls’ far course at state. The muddy trail gave the term “cross country” a new meaning as running over this natural terrain was its own challenge.
In Waco, TX on October 31st, our girls finished 15th at the TAPPS 3A State Cross Country Meet, while the boys finished 11th.
“It felt Crazy good! I didn’t picture myself competing in a state championship,” said Junior Maggie Bullington.
Despite the difficult conditions, Senior Royce Siller enjoyed running at the state meet, making the time 25:40.2 but his best time was 22:24 on September at SCS2 meet. Most runner’s times were slower at state due to the muddy pitfalls.
“Some of the holes in the lanes were so big, my whole leg fell through them,” said Junior Kenley Machen, as she explained that the paths were torn up badly by the time we ran, because 5A and 4A schools ran the course before us.
“I was excited in a way about running in state, it felt exhilarating,” said a determined Siller.
Even with being the new student, Siller played well and scored points for our team. Head Coach Josh Proctor appreciates Siller’s dedication to all the sports he plays, as he also played football simultaneously to running cross country.
“He throws himself into everything”, says Coach Proctor.
Team girls and coach
Bullington, who also is in drama club, ran cross country for the first time this year and even became the chief recruiter.
“Maggie got more girls to run for our team,” said Coach Proctor.
“I am crazy proud of her. She had never done it before and worked really hard.”
One of the people that Maggie persuaded to join cross country was Senior Morgan Offutt. She had originally joined because she wanted to get healthy and in shape. She also rides horses and has a job but she quit some work hours just to run cross country.
“I’ve learned more about myself and persevering even when times seem difficult,” said Offutt.
Even though the opponents were very good, the students were able to encourage and support each other to go on. And everyone had an opportunity to run, so no one felt left out. Coach Proctor even pushed Siller while he was running to help him.
“Our teammates were very encouraging,” said Siller.
These four students were part of a larger team made up of Ty Nguyen (PR 21:42:4), Will Pinon (PR 17: 32), Carson Pinon (PR 18:22), Aaron Shipley (PR 22:08.80), Seth Mackenzie (PR 18:50) for the boys and Ellie Parker (PR 16:19.9), Kenley Machen (PR 11:47), Maggie Bullington (PR 25:33.8), Morgan Offutt (PR 18:06), Sarah Peck (PR 29:45.8).
Cross country takes up a lot of the student’s time, so being able to manage schoolwork and athletics made it even more of a challenge. They persevered and were able to learn from it.
By far the most difficult races were the last two meets at the NTX Small School Championship and the state championship because at both races, it was raining, making conditions more difficult.

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