Cross Country Improving by Leaps and Bounds


Mikaia Jones

Cross Country Graphic

Blackman’s cross-country team’s improvement is one to be documented. From new personal records to our freshman showing out, we have a lot to look forward to from this year’s team.  

Cross Country is a team that runs long distances over open-air courses of natural terrain such as dirt or grass. Our team is composed of over 20 runners ranging from freshman who have never ran before to seniors who know their way around the course.  

“My PR [personal record] time has gone down and I have become a team captain. I have also traveled out of state because our team has improved so much,” stated senior Zachary Shafer.  

Many of our runners have decreased their PRs from when they first joined the team. Senior Julian Ivey has decreased his PR by 5 minutes from his freshman year, which shows as a role model for our incoming freshmen who may not be the happiest with their times.  

Overall, the whole team has improved. Teammates have said that they are all on track for going to State with the team being in the top three in the region.  

“I expect both teams to strive to get to state. I know both teams have enough talent to make it to state; we just really need to put all our efforts into it,” said senior Julian Ivey.  

Many do not understand why someone would choose to run such long distances. However, our seniors have shared that running with their team creates a connection that other sports don’t give them. They’ve been participating in the sport for so long and have run with these people for years, so the team is more of a family for them.  

“We have a lot of new runners and many of them previously were scared at the thought of cross country. Now, these team members love the sport and team. We also had a morning pool party with pancakes, and I feel like it was one of the most fun experiences I have had in high school,” stated Ivey, when he was asked about his most memorable moment.  

While some of the seniors don’t plan on continuing to run on college teams, all of them plan on continuing to run for enjoyment after the season. The team has improved so much from past years that it is now on track to go to State this year. Coach Sutton’s coaching skills have really improved the team and set new standards for our runners.