Runners Cross the Last Finish Line of the Season

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Eighth grade cross country runners ran their last meet at COC in Joplin on October 11, 2018. Over the season, runners placed and won many medals. The team placed at many of their meets. Co-coaches Amanda Disseler and Matthew Lee were at every practice or meet cheering on the runners. Runners were always expected to try their hardest at meets or any practices that they attended.

Coach Matthew Lee has been coaching seventh and eighth grade for two years.  ¨The runners this season have made this an amazing second year. I am very proud of the runners that we took to the Chili Pepper Race in Fayetteville, AR because of how far they had come from the beginning of the season. I love to see the runners meet their personal best at COC,¨ Coach Lee stated.

¨I picked to coach this grade level because there is very little pressure that affects them. We also give them another place to be stress free while they practice running,¨ said Coach Lee.

At meets runners have to complete  one and a half miles. Runners that competed  in the Chili Pepper Race ran a 5k. This was an accomplishment for most of the runners.  Coaches were at all the meets cheering on the runners and encouraging them. At many of the meets there were 23 teams but Ozark Junior High team still got 5th at some meets. Out of eight meets the team won first place at two.  

Coach Dissler was a cross country runner in high school, and fell in love with the sport. She continued to run all throughout college.  ¨I love to coach eighth and seventh graders because they are just learning the sport and we get to encourage the runners,¨ stated Coach Disseler. ¨I also love to see the kids in practice get better and better in the season.¨

Bus rides were filled with fun and games, but also warm up music to get their bodies all pumped up and be prepared to run.

Kopelyn DeLong won many medals for the team at many of their meets. She attended most of the meets that were offered to the team.  ¨I think I did pretty good during this season, I tried my hardest and improved as the season went on. I got second at COC and got to attend the Chili Pepper Race,¨ Kopelyn said. ¨My least favorite part of the season was when I had to miss a meet to cheer at a football game, but I love the whole season of cross country.¨

The Ozark Junior High cross country runners usually compete against Nixa, Webb City, and Willard. Sometimes there are many teams that are from Kansas City or Joplin and have to travel to Arkansas or Joplin to race.