Schmidt participates in state cross country

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Caleb Smith

Senior Luke Schmidt (gray) talks to various members of the cross country team at the Oct. 3 home meet.

Elly Green, Reporter

The high school boys cross country team celebrated sending senior Luke Schmidt to the state cross country meet in Augusta. Although the entire team did not qualify for state, they were extremely proud to see Schmidt represent their entire team at the state level. 

Even though COVID-19 has kept several sports teams from practicing and improving, the cross country team did not face as many challenges as you would expect. The only changes in the state competition this year were location and the use of masks up until one minute before the race started. The team was also lucky enough to not miss out on any practices, Schmidt said.

Through [COVID-19] it was hard to work through it at the very beginning, but as the season progressed we were able to almost practice to a certain “normal”,” Schmidt said.

Schmidt reached a personal record this year, receiving first team all league, and a qualification for state. At state, Schmidt placed 35th. When Schmidt started running varsity cross country his freshman year he was the sixth fastest, he now is first fastest on the team and has broken many personal records, not to mention the friends he has made along the way.

“Freshman year I went in not knowing what to expect and got surprised with a team that turned into a family and gained many of my friends from it,” Schmidt said.

Not only did Schmidt break his own records and several others, junior Kaden Anderson ran his first year on varsity and outdid his personal record, going from a time of 19:01 to 17:48. 

“From the start of my athletic career until this point, I have improved my mental strength, my ability to push myself harder, and I have developed an increased amount of enjoyment for my sports, which I was starting to lose during my first years in high school,” Anderson said.

The team was able to bond and progress by having team bonfires and dinners at each other’s houses. Schmidt also said that they crack jokes in practice to keep things light hearted.

“I don’t think we ever had a problem staying motivated. The leadership on the team both from the coaches and from the upperclassmen helped keep everyone hyped and we were able to stay motivated to work hard all season,” Anderson said.

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