Cross country team hopes to experience continued success, fewer injuries


Freshman Elizabeth Bulat charges through the river at the Old Skool Classic cross country meet.

Austin Remick, Staff Writer

Sophomore Cameron Dork lines up on the starting line. His heart pounds in his chest as the starter’s gun goes off at the start of his five-kilometer race.

“I always get really nervous before a race,” Dork said. “But I try to remember that all I’m doing is running, so there’s nothing to be nervous about.”

He is hoping to help his team in any way he can.

“My main goal for this year is to beat my best time from last year,” Dork said.

While Dork looks to contribute to the  team by improving himself as a runner, this year’s girls cross country team is striving to continue its recent success, having placed in the top 20 at last year’s state championships. Head cross country coach Larry Adams was pleased with the way his team competed last season.

“They qualified for the state finals and got a chance to compete at the highest level, so last year’s team was definitely successful,” coach Adams said. “They were very young as well, so they got some good experience.”

Only one of the seven varsity runners from the 2014 season graduated.  However, they have been struggling to stay healthy early in the season.

“Unfortunately the injury bug has hit us, so we’re trying to work through that,” coach Adams said. “Hopefully we’ll be better in October for the league and regional meet when it counts.”

Senior Shane Skelcy picked up a significant injury this summer, so he knows just what it feels like to not be at full strength when most of the team is ready to race, but he’s been working hard to get back on the course.

“I had a stress fracture on my right fibula, and I’ve done a lot of cross training to recover,” Skelcy said. “I’ve been biking a lot, and I even swam a little bit. Most of my biking has been on the Paint Creek Trail. I started eating healthier, and that really helped my body recover faster. I took a lot of vitamins, too.”

When runners are forced to sit out due to injury, it brings opportunities for new members of the team to show their talent, and freshman Elizabeth Bulat has quickly become accustomed to being relied on as an important competitor. She has run in the varsity race at every meet thus far, and she has responded well to racing and training with athletes up to three years older than her.

“It was hard running so much at the beginning of the season, but I’ve gotten used to it,” Bulat said. “It’s gradually gotten easier for me.”

While Bulat enjoys competing at practice and during races, she’s been having fun this year forming new relationships with her teammates.

“I’ve met a lot of new people,” Bulat said.  “I’ve made some new friends and really gotten closer with the team.”

Sophomore Khalil Tobe would agree.

“I always loved running when I was younger, so this is a great experience for me,” Tobe said.  “There’s a lot of people that I’ve met and made friends with. It’s been a lot of fun.  I will definitely keep running in the future.”