Sun, wind, rain and mud.
This year’s cross country team trekked through all kinds of conditions this season after concluding the year last month with the regional cross country meet in Sparks.
“They had a tough day because it was raining, muddy and pouring,” Fallon coach Patty Anderson said. “They put their heart into it that day. They did everything they could do. They didn’t complain about the conditions. They ran as hard as they could.
“They were pleased with their performance. Some of them realized they almost got there. It was just really ugly conditions. It was difficult for every runner. They threw it out there. Not any of them gave half a performance. They gave it all out there.”
Despite not qualifying any runners for the state meet, Fallon’s five boys and five girls battled through the muddy conditions and most importantly, improved throughout the season, notching personal bests on a weekly basis.
“They’ve pretty much had to coach themselves all season and band together to encourage each other and train each other,” Anderson said. “They’ve bonded together because of that. They’re stellar athletes.”
Joseph Terry led the boys at regionals with a time of 19 minutes, 15 seconds, to take 17th, while Justin Cathey finished 23rd at 19:38. JR Demillo finished 48th (21:50), John Kirkland was 53rd (22:18) and Dawson Frost followed in 56th (24:03).
Jeanne Anderson paced the girls with a 37th-place finish at 25:38. Places 39 through 42 belonged to Fallon with Savannah Robinson leading the group at 26:34. Corin Ramos ran the course in 27:49, followed by Amanda Pursley at 27:59 and Bailee Walker at 28:01.
“(Cross country) gives them endurance. it teaches them discipline and gets them in tremendous shape,” coach Anderson said. “It keeps them in really good shape through the offseason. It’s a great precursor to track. It is an endurance sport.”
Anderson, who runs the computer labs at the high school, came on board as the coach late in the season but was proud of all of her runners.
“Joe had a great season. He’s been consistent. He’s been the team captain and a great leader,” Anderson said. “He’s encouraging and helped developed the workouts when the kids had to develop their own workouts.”
Regarding Cathey, Anderson said he is passionate about running and looks forward to great things coming from her leader.
“Justin is destined for greatness. He has heart for running,” she added.
Anderson said Kirkland, Demillo, Frost and William Anderson were consistent this season and improved each week.
“John also wanted to go to state and runs as hard as he can. He does a great job,” Anderson said of Kirkland. “He never complains. He works hard.”
Like the boys, the girls continued to improve with their times and form.
“Jeanne absolutely lives to run. She loves it,” Anderson said. “Savannah is my freshman and she is really forming into a really nice runner. She’s got nice form and she tries hard.
“Bailee never gives up. She digs deep and runs as hard as she can. She’s a great team member.”
Anderson said her seniors, Ramos and Pursley, worked hard to lead the team.
“Corin is super fast. She also loves to run. She’s a very good encourager,” Anderson said. “Amanda is consistent in every single season she’s been improving all along. She’s a hard worker.”