On October 27, Leesville’s cross country team competed in the NCHSAA 4A Mideast Regionals, their final meet of the season.
The cross country team’s goal the entire season was to do well at regionals. The competitive runners on the team aimed to be on varsity and to be able to train for and race in the regional meet all season.
The cross country varsity team worked really hard during the week and a half leading up to regionals.
“[Training for regionals] was definitely a step up. We were training significantly harder, especially coming down to those last couple of days,” said Josh DeJoya, junior and varsity runner.
Jordan Mareno, sophomore varsity runner, said, “The training we did for the week between [the] Cap-8 [meet] and regionals was a lot harder, and it really challenged me.”
Both boys and girls varsity teams competed. The varsity girls included Taylor Hemming, Sarah Bigelow, Emily Putnam, Megan McGuire, Sydney Winchel, Morgan Barnes, and Jordan Mareno. The varsity boys included Lance Bullerwell, Carson Ellerby, Nick Boatman, Anthony Strapp, Grant Przybyla, David Schuler, and Josh DeJoya.
Leesville placed seventh out of 17 teams in the girls race and eleventh out of 21 teams in the boy’s race. Despite both teams being in the top 55%, Leesville didn’t do as well as they hoped.
Dejoya said, “We could have had a better day, but we still did a pretty good job. It wasn’t our best, but we were still competitive.”
“We didn’t live up to our potential, all of us ran slower than normal. Collectively as a team we were slower [than normal],” said Mareno.
However, one of Leesville’s runners performed exceptionally well. Taylor Hemming, freshman, was asked to compete in the state meet. She placed fourteenth individually in a race of 133 girls at regionals.
Overall, Leesville was content with their results. Most of the cross country team will now start to work toward their track season, and the others will continue to train for next year’s cross country season.