By Elizabeth Parke
PE teacher and Cross Country Coach
Lake Lure Classical Academy
In mid-July we had our first cross country practice of the season on the Donald Ross Nature Trail. Seven students showed up at 8 AM on that hot and humid morning: four boys and four girls. Over the next two months, Allyse Searcy, our assistant coach, and I saw our team grow to include eleven boys, and five girls. In the back of my head, I knew that we needed at least five runners to qualify as a team in a meet, with every place counting in the final score. However, I had learned an important lesson over my last three cross country seasons. Coach the kids that show up for practice. Most of our runners had never run more than a mile in PE class, let alone race for 3.1 miles (a 5K). These boys and girls gave 100% every day, as we ran in heat, humidity, rain, and mud. Since the trails can be rough at times, we ran the risk of runners getting injured. On September 27th, Taby Adams, our #1 girl runner, severely sprained her ankle at practice. She sat out the next two weeks, waiting to see if she could run at the state meet. When we arrived at the state meet, our runners were ready. Our boys team came in second place overall, with Andrew Hernasay placing second. Not to be outdone, our girls team won the meet, with Jacqui Foronda coming in second individually. Taby competed at state, finishing 8th to clinch the win for our girls team. “Bringing home the victory to Lake Lure was by far one of the hardest things we ever have done, but also one that has paid off the most. I’m very proud to be a Raptor,” said Taby.
I am so proud of every member of both teams. Brad White, our athletic Director, and our parents helped to make this championship season possible. To quote our director, Jess Boland, “I am a LLCA Raptor and I couldn’t be prouder-if you can’t hear me, I’ll yell a little louder!”