Recapping the cross country season


Jetta Frazee

Sarah Reese, Staff Reporter

The cross country team participated in one of its last meets of the season on Oct. 17.

Waking up early in the morning, the runners headed off towards Wichita Falls to run in the district meet.  After warming up, the runners lined up on the start line awaiting the gunshot that would signal them to begin.

Sophomores Faith Emmitte and Arwen Wise stood, silently preparing for the race ahead.  Though Emmitte was in the JV race and Wise in varsity, they both waited with the same intent on winning.

The gunshots signaled the start of the race, and Emmitte, Wise and all the other runners began their race against each other and themselves to beat their previous times. And as the race went on, the desire to win diminished the nervous feelings of the runners.

“Emotions went away,” Wise said. “I just had to finish.”

As they crossed the finish line, they were filled with relief, as the long race had ended. All of Aledo’s cross country teams earned first in district.

“I was very glad to be done, but at the same time I was sad because I knew that it would be the last time that I’d run cross country all year,” Emmitte said.

The situation differed for the varsity girls and boys, as they made it to regionals.

Steven Furlow and Cooper Goggans, both varsity runners, headed off to Lubbock on Oct. 28.

The teams warmed up before heading again to the start line, preparing for the three mile race ahead of them. Finally it was time to start and the runners shot forward.

“While running, I was hit with the persistent thought of ‘This is the year we make it, we are finally going to state,’” Furlow said. 

Crossing the finish line, the runners came to the end of the long race.

“When I finished, I passed out and my legs were dead,” Goggans said. “I gave it everything I had and got a good result.”

Varsity boys and Gracie Morris, a varsity girl runner, made it to state.

“The whole team was ecstatic,” Furlow said. “When coach told us we made state, we all flipped out. This was the first time Aledo has sent a cross country team to state in 20 years, and [much] of the team had been running since freshman year with this goal in mind.”

In fact, Goggans describes this event as one of the best moments of his life.

“When we made state it was one of the best moments I’ve had.”

This achievement did not come without participating in vigorous practices before dawn.

“What’s gotten me to state is the training I have been doing since May,” Goggans said.  “[We did] lots of hill training and mile repeats,” Furlow said. “We normally run every day at 6 am since August, and that work has paid off.”

The team itself also played a part in this victory.

“What got us to state is the teamwork throughout the whole year and believing in everyone,” Goggans said.

After the victory at district, the cross country team looked ahead towards state.

“When compared to other qualifying team’s times, our team is projected to get 5th in state, a great improvement considering the last state team was dead last,” Furlow said, “We plan to get under 200 points at this meet.”

The runners also looked ahead to personal achievements in state.

“At state I am hoping for a new PR and for the team to place in the top 10 in the state or maybe even top 5,” Goggans said.

The boys varsity team did in fact place in the top ten at sixth place out of sixteen teams. With Graydon Morris earning first, Issac Hernandez at 47, Cooper Goggans at 63, Michael Raulerson at 80, Rylan Shaffer at 118, Steven Furlow at 125 and Henry Zedler at 151.

Gracie earned second place individually.

Now that the season is over, the team will miss seeing the people on a daily basis.

“They are the best group of people and the best group of friends I’ve ever had,” Wise said.

Emmitte shares the same feeling for the cross country team.

“How close we are, I love that aspect of it,” Emmitte says. “People come for the credit but stay for the people.”

As the season has come to an end, the runners are looking ahead to next season.

“My hope is for the varsity girls to go to state,” Emmitte said. “They work really hard, I love them to death and it would be like a testament to their hard work.”