I feel like we had a very good year overall. Both our boys and girl teams were young and most will likely return to the program next year. Hopefully they will bring along more contributing freshman as well.
Our girls team this season did well throughout. We won our conference meet for the second year in a row, narrowly inching Mannford out by 2 points. A first place finish from Joannie Adkisson set the pace for the whole team that day. Regionals was a tough day with wind gusts of up to 35 mph against us and we just missed qualifying for State by two places.
Our lone senior, Faith Wallace, was a great leader for our younger athletes and a very consistent runner for us. Sophmore Destiny Skinner was only able to run 4 of the 9 meets this year due to an injury and we're all excited to see her return next season with big goals.
There were 8 girls in particular that were dedicated to the run and continuously improved all season. I am very proud of these girls and of how they kept on fighting. Freshman, Rose Others stepped up in a big way when she qualified for State as an individual. She earned All-Regional honors placing 7th at the regional meet and turned right around the next week to make State Medalist with a placement of 13 out of 159 runners. Rose also set our school record in the 2-mile this season with a time of 12:58 at the State meet.
The boy's season was an up and down year as we didn't have a full team for the majority of it. We finished third at our conference meet and when Regionals came along we had three boys compete and qualify for State - Jake Ahrberg, Dane Lemmon and Evan Kennedy.
There weren't many senior boys with the team this year, which we see as a positive thing for us since we won't be losing very many to graduation next season. Next year's seniors will be Ahrberg, Lemmon and Dakota Norman. Not having a full team for most of the meets this year was tough but these guys just kept competing and I was very impressed with them. Evan has come a long way and proven to be a gutsy, tough kid. Ahrberg was our number one runner most of the year and really took his leadership role seriously. At State, Jake finished 68 with a time of (19:11); Dane at 79th with (19:30) and Evan finished 83 (19:33) out of 163 total runners. All three were respectable finishes. It is difficult to get to the State Cross Country meet alone and I was so proud of the boy's accomplishments.
I'm really excited for the future of Cushing Cross Country! Tradition doesn't just come into a place overnight and I believe this year has played a huge part in building this program.