On October 18, Nathan Gamble, a senior at Leesville, ran away from the competition and placed first at the CAP-8 men’s cross country meet. It is the first time in five years that a runner from a school other than Broughton has won the individual conference title.
As a team, Leesville finished second overall at the conference meet with 50 points. Broughton placed first, finishing with 23 points.
A group of Broughton runners led early, but Gamble was able to surge ahead of the pack around the halfway point of the race.
“[The race] went out pretty easy,” said Gamble. “I just really started pushing around the two mile [mark] and was able to make a gap.”
Gamble was able to hold onto his lead for the rest of the 5,000 meter run and finished with a time of 16:08.38, 14.92 seconds ahead of Broughton’s Ryan Brown, junior, who placed second.
With the regional meet and possibly the state meet left to go, Gamble is hoping to finish strong in his final cross country season at LRHS. “I want to place as highly as I can at regionals,” said Gamble. He also is hoping to place in the top five at the state meet.
Brent Hale, the Leesville men’s cross country coach, said Gamble is a great athlete who knows the keys to being successful.
“He knows that everyday, there’s work and that leads to being a winner,” said Hale. “He works on the process and his end result comes.”
Hale also said that Gamble has been an important leader for the team and his knowledge of running has helped him teach others. “He knows enough that when people ask questions, he knows how to answer and help them.”
With a great conference meet finish under its belt, the Pride cross country team will hope to end the season successfully with the leadership of Gamble.
“The kids are starting to believe they can be one of the top five teams in the state,” said Hale. “We’re shooting for that [goal].