The 2017 Cross Country season flew by fast, just like the team did while I cheered them on at the races! I hope you were able to keep tabs on them as they worked hard throughout the past few months. There were many things to be thankful to God for all along the way.
I was thankful to have both of our team captains return from last season! Senior Dewey Rapson and Junior Wendy Busenitz provided excellent team leadership and helped mentor the new members of the team. I was also happy to have Senior Nathan Bruce return for his second XC season. Dewey was the team captain this year, and Wendy was our team prayer captain...both of them consistently reminded me and the team to always focus on keeping Christ at the forefront and to give God the glory for our accomplishments.
Our returners were joined this year by four newcomers: Junior Josiah Genung, Sophomore Abbie Blomberg, and Freshmen Abby Lobb and Tyler Dingle. All of them worked hard to convince their bodies that running mile after mile is a fun thing to do! Sometimes their bodies cooperated and other times their shins and calves reported the strain they were under, in a painful way!
We enjoyed hosting three other NCCAA schools for our home meet this year for the first time. We made a few adjustments to the course to reduce the number of laps the men had to run, and had fun running the flat course. Thank you to those of you who came out to help facilitate the meet!
Our season was capped off once again in Mississippi, with Nationals hosted by Belhaven University. The three qualifiers all ran very well: Dewey, Wendy, and Abbie. The highlight of the trip was during the banquet when it was announced that Wendy had won the D2 National XC Bullock Award for 2017! This award is given based on Christian character, academic excellence, and athletic ability. Congratulations Wendy!
We are very thankful for the prayer support and encouragement we received throughout the season...thank you! God blessed our team immensely this year, and we will all have fond memories of the miles spent together on the roads, at least the miles spent together in the van, if not the miles running hills.
Praise the Lord for providing endurance through the long miles, and strength for the circuit workouts. It was a great season...to God be the glory!
- Coach Long