Audrey Hemming and her road to states

Pictured with her fellow teammates, Audrey Hemming, senior, has a big smile after running a successful race. The team takes on states this Saturday, November 4, and hope for a fifth place ranking. (Photo used by permission of Audrey Hemming)

This Saturday, November 4, the top seven boys and girls on Leesville’s cross country team travel to Kernersville, North Carolina to compete in states.

For most runners, this is their last race of the season, but for Audrey Hemming, senior captain, this is her last 5k for Leesville ever, and she plans on going out with a bang.

“All-state means you are top 10 of the state championship race. I never thought I could even be close to being all-state, but my regional time really helped me get closer,” said Hemming via text. After running a personal best of 18:45, beating her previous personal record of 19:01, Hemming is only five seconds behind the current runner filling the last spot as an all-state runner.

Hemming has worked hard to achieve the times and recognition she has received. “During the season I was able to move up in the all time Leesville top 25 list. At cap 7 I passed two of my former teammates, Noor Hasan and Sydney Winchel. My freshman year I was 23rd on the list… [and] I am now 6th,” said Hemming.

Not only has Hemming done well during the cross country season, the team as a whole has made huge strides, which in turn landed the girls team top 9 in the state. Hemming said, “Our team has worked really hard this year. To make it to states is incredible by itself, but I think we can really make Leesville proud in how well we finish at the meet [states]…At the beginning of the season, the girls weren’t even ranked. It just shows how much we have progressed this season.”

As captain, Hemming has a set of goals for both the team and herself. Her number one goal is to PR and go all-state and has a strong feeling this is possible. “I’m a pretty competitive person, so if I need to pass a few people to reach my goal, I’m going to do it. This week I’m focusing on doing the basic things right like eating healthy, going to bed at a decent hour, and staying relaxed,” said Hemming. As for the team, “I’m hoping both boys and girls teams can place top 5 in the state.”

“It’s crazy how fast time flies. It feels like I was just a freshman getting ready for my first race. I have had so many fun memories and experiences because of this sport. I’ve had the opportunity to race with some of the most talented runners in the state and I’m grateful to have them as competitors. I’m glad I could have amazing teammates over the years. I wouldn’t be where I am today without the support from my team. Leesville cross country really has been my family the past four years,” said Hemming.

Wish cross country good luck as they take on the top teams in the state.


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