Cross Country: One Last Time


Jeremy Woody, Staff Writer

I joined Lenoir City High School’s Cross Country team during the later part of August my freshman year. However, running was not the first sport I participated in. I had ten years of experience in baseball and nine in golf.


I juggled with the idea of joining Cross Country the summer prior to my transition into high school. I felt as if running would help me progress in becoming a better person, but I was extremely shy, socially introverted, and lacked the feeling of belonging.


I kept to myself and rarely spoke. Not a single person on the team knew the sound of my voice for my first year.


I vividly remember my first day of practice–all of the runners were in top shape. Nathan Jones, the fastest distance runner in LCHS history, was part of the team this year. The initial workout was short, but left me absolutely winded after running no more than only two-tenths of mile at a time.


The sun was beating down on our bodies mercilessly. I was the last person to finish my workout and return to the track, but for some reason, I knew I wanted to get better despite the mental and physical distress I had endured.


My junior year was the pinnacle of my cross country career at LCHS. I was around my Cross Country team more than I was with my family. I had never felt so close to a group of people. Throughout my life, I only had but maybe two or three friends that were boys, but the boys on the team this year treated me like a brother.


On days where I had no energy, I still ran for them. I wanted to do everything in my power to assist them in their hunt for success. I also became a co-captain this year to my surprise. My co-captain of this year was Haley Morris (Alumni). She was my other half when we were running. She is the person that showed me strength, leadership, and humility. I credit her for making my life  better. People like Haley are met only once in a lifetime.


Two seasons later, on October 29, 2015, I stood on the starting line for a championship race at Victor Ashe Park for one last time. The course was always proven to be a team favorite since my sophomore year. It seemed an to be an eternity before the race started. I couldn’t focus on the race that awaited me. I could only focus on the journey I had unintentionally taken part in.


The race turned out to be my biggest disappointment of my career. However, I worked my hardest, and I am proud my journey and my team. I look forward to my final track season in the Spring.


The sport has taught me patience, self worth, leadership skills, teamwork, and how to work with other people. I thank everyone that I’ve ran with. I also thank my coach for watching over me and making sure I am okay.