Running with a passion

OJH Cross Country team prepares to end season with the COC

Coach Christy gives some advice as the runners get ready for the meet at Republic. Republic is about 45 minutes away by bus and gives the athletes some time to relax before the race. Cloi Garrison says, “I would not consider it my favorite course, but I like the feeling of accomplishment when I finish.”

Coach Christy gives some advice as the runners get ready for the meet at Republic. Republic is about 45 minutes away by bus and gives the athletes some time to relax before the race. Cloi Garrison says, “I would not consider it my favorite course, but I like the feeling of accomplishment when I finish.”

Katie Wells, Sunshine Editor

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On September 8 the Ozark seventh and eighth grade cross country team ran their first meet at Willow Springs. Now seven meets later, the team has grown and is now preparing for the COC meet in Nixa which is less than a week away.

This season is slipping away for the runners with less than a week left of cross country practice as the team prepares for the last meet for the season. Coach Christy says, “As a team we have competed well in every meet, in a few days I think that many students will improve their personal times at COC. Some athletes will face tougher competition in their grade level, but will be measured individually.”

The team this year has had some good times when boys took first at Willow Springs; the girls and boys took first at Lebanon; and seventh grade boys took second at Nixa. But that is not all, the girls also placed second at East Newton and Republic while the boys ended up second at Branson.

Kaden Bowling is an eighth grader who is running cross country for his first time. “Cross Country has been a fun challenge for me, some days are easier than others, but I have enjoyed it,” explains Bowling. “The most challenging part for me has been hilly meets and running hills in practice, so pretty much hills. Last week we had a practice consisting of a mile and a half of hills, it was not fun.”

Every year the OJH cross country team takes the 15 fastest girls and boys to Fayetteville, Arkansas, to run a 5K. “This year 6,750 athletes came to run in the Chile Pepper event,” Coach Christy states. “This is the distance that high school boys and girls run in competition. We had nine Ozark runners who were competing at the Chile Pepper for the second time and 17 athletes competing for the first time.”

Bowling has had a good first season and looks forward to many more. He was one of the boys selected to run in the Chile Pepper race. “Chile Pepper was a good experience because it was a different style of race,” says Bowling. “I also liked that there was a bigger competition.”

This was the only meet during the entire season when OJH cross country runners gt the opportunity to run a 5K. After running the Chili Pepper race, Bowling says, “I felt pretty good. It got me excited about running 5K’s every meet next year as a high school cross country runner.”

COC is coming around really fast and the team is preparing for the meet. Coach Christy says, “I think many of our students will improve their personal times at COC in Nixa. Our running success is relative to each athlete and the goals they have set for themselves. Some athletes will face tougher competition in their grade level.”

Coach Christy gives some advice as the runners get ready for the meet at Republic. Republic is about 45 minutes away by bus and gives the athletes some time to relax before the race. Cloi Garrison says, “I would not consider it my favorite course, but I like the feeling of accomplishment when I finish.”

Coach Christy gives some advice as the runners get ready for the meet at Republic. Republic is about 45 minutes away by bus and gives the athletes some time to relax before the race. Cloi Garrison says, “I would not consider it my favorite course, but I like the feeling of accomplishment when I finish.”