The heat-ridden summer practices ended and are being replaced by two-a-days. While the girls struggle to manage showering in the locker room before school and finishing homework after long workouts, they continue to focus on the goal of a good season.

“I work during the week, so managing time before and after school is tough,” senior Heather Classe said. “I often sacrifice my weekends for cross country.”

Classe says that her co-captain, senior Katherine Burns, also works after school and feels the pressure of dealing with  multiple commitments, but the love for the sport remains.

“Proper attitude and commitment are the two most important ingredients,” coach Paul Katauskus said. “You have to love to run and be willing to everyday.”

The first meet, on Sept. 9, was the Deja Vu Invitational in Tampa where four girls, sophomore Alexandra Meneses, junior Michelle Duncan, Burns and Classe placed in the top 100.

“The toughest part of races is pushing yourself when you want to stop,” Burns said.

At the meet, Burns ran the three mile race in 22:29.20, placing 68th, while Classe ran it in 19:53.5, placing 6th.

On Sept. 17, at the DeLand Invitational,  six girls placed in the top 100. Classe ranked third in the meet, but first for the team, running 19:41,  and freshman Cassandra Katchum ranked sixth in the meet, second for the team, running 20:02.

However, the varsity girls did lose a key runner, senior Caroline Coleman, due to a stress fracture, one of the many injuries running athletes can face.

“I’ve seen a lot of stress fractures and shin splints,” Paul Katauskus said. “Dealing with injuries is frustrating as a coach.”

On Sept. 24, at the UF Mountain Dew Invitational in Gainesville, three girls placed in the top 100: Classe, Ketchum and freshman Claire Collins. Classe ran the three mile race in 20:03, Ketchum ran it in 20:54 and Collins ran it in 21:37.

“The team is doing good. We have the potential to go to states,” Burns said. “We all have to work hard to get there.”

Classe claims that she and the team keep a positive attitude because the belief that with the  team’s constant placement in the top 100 at meets, they have a chance to be placed in states. This will not be decided until regionals.


By admin

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