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By Maggie Rechkemmer, Mount Vernon freshman
MOUNT VERNON – Running across the finish line no matter what race is always an amazing feeling.
But it’s an even better feeling when you’ve made it to the top.
Mount Vernon-Lisbon cross country runners experienced this on Oct. 24 at the Solon district/regional meet when both teams qualified for the state meet, which is Saturday in Fort Dodge.
The teams are stacked with talented underclassmen who had the drive to succeed.
“We got this far only by hard work, good coaching and the support from the rest of the team,” said freshman Jack Young, one of several freshmen traveling to Fort Dodge
Even though running demands individual endurance, bonding is a critical part of success. Sometimes its just as simple as a bus ride, eating out or doing fun things as a team.
“Just talking and goofing around really makes you feel close as a team,” freshmab Faith Anton said.
Some runners even have rituals, like having their hair a particular way, lucky socks or eating certain foods the night before a race. Members of the Mount Vernon-Lisbon team also say their coaches are a very important part of their success. All of the runners know they can count on Coach Sue Deibner, the Wamac Coach of the Year, for being a ball of energy and having a positive attitude every meet – no matter what.
Coach Kory Swart is very encouraging and helps runners stay calm while running a race.
The girls placed second at the regional meet in Solon and boys came in third. The top three runners for the girls were junior Kendra Schmidt from Lisbon, placing ninth; freshman Hayley Corkin, 11th; and Anton. 12th. The top three runners for the boys’ team were sophomore Reid Smock of Lisbon, placing 16th; junior Benjamin Gilbert, 17th; and freshman Jack Young in 18th.