Boys cross country ends disappointing season

The boys cross country team had another disappointing outing, and it turns out it’s their final one. Last week, the boys cross cross country team ran in the District meet at McNair Park. However, no one who ran at Districts qualified to go further down the road to the State meet. Junior P.J Brown said this season was dissatisfying.

“I’m disappointed,” Brown said. “I can’t really explain it, I’m just flat out disappointed. As a team, they finished next to last in the overall standings. No one ranked higher than 45th place individually, and it was unfortunate I felt like everybody was working hard in practice but once race day came, we just couldn’t get done what needed to be done.”

The team had a decent start to the year, but the last few meets for them as a team and individually were not up to expectations. After finishing dead last at GAC’s, the team hoped for a better performance at Districts. Despite their cross country season ending, most of the cross country runners also run track in the spring, and Brown is confident track will be better.

“I can’t wait to make up for how terrible I did this season,” Brown said. “It’ll definitely be different.”

For some runners, there is always next year. For others, most notably the seniors, this year was it for them. Senior Brendan Hiatt believed the season could have and should have been better.

“It was by far one of the worst years we have had so far,” Hiatt said. He believed that the team should have been on a higher level of performance. “I felt like everybody was working hard in practice but race day just wasn’t getting done what needed to be done.”

For Hiatt, just like the other seniors, this was his last season running cross country. He says there are many things he will miss about cross country.

“I will miss the atmosphere of the sport, and just being involved in something amazing,” Hiatt said.

Coach Michelle Breuer, was quite surprised the team had no runners qualify for sectionals.

“It obviously wasn’t our best year,” Coach Breuer said.

“We should have had people qualify for sectionals.”

Coach Breuer, despite the underachieving season, still has plenty of faith in her runners.

“This was one of the worst seasons we have had in 13 years,” Coach Breuer said. “They all have the tools to be great runners, and they have the potential, but as the season progressed, I knew something was not right.”

The cross country team actually had a couple runners, one who played football and another who played soccer, run with them in the meets, but still they did not qualify for sectionals. Coach Breuer believes it is partly because with Josh McKinley gone, the current runners went from being followers to leaders.

“When Josh was here, everyone tried to close the gap between them and him, and even though they knew they wouldn’t beat him, they had something to shoot for,” Coach Breuer said. “With him gone, I guess it made it hard for the team as far as their mentality goes.”

Losing seniors can be rough, but she believes that this is the chance for the other runners to step up as leaders and set the standard for years to come.

“We have a cohesive team that really likes each other,” Coach Breuer said. “Losing Michael [VanHorn], who is one of our captains, can be tough, but if someone else steps up to the plate and becomes a leader, the transition will be easier.