Nov. 11 will go down in school history, because Steinbrenner’s Cross Country team came in second place at the State Championship for 4A division,for the first time. This will only be the second time in Steinbrenner High School’s history the Boy’s Cross Country team has made it to the State Championship.
The race took place in Tallahassee, over twenty teams competed to win first place from across Florida. Steinbrenner was second only to their rival, Oviedo High School, which is located near Orlando.
Overall, Steinbrenner’s runners performed well. Although Steinbrenner’s Cross Country has gone to state almost every year since its opening in 2009, it isn’t often the school places in the top ten.
“Our first runner to the line was Davis Bly. He ran a 5k in 16 minutes and 16 seconds, which was the fastest time of the season for any runner on our team,” said Lingerfelt.
Bly ended a season, that was filled with commitment and hard work on a spectacular note, by completing his own personal record in the 5k, which is approximately 3.1 miles.
Other impressive runs were made by seniors Zach Whitmer, Jackson Miller, and Mccrea Weller.
“Steinbrenner High School had three seniors who ran their best time at the State Meet, the last meet of the season, so that’s always good to end your career on your best race,” said Lingerfelt.
After a long summer filled with hard work and an even harder season, the Steinbrenner Cross Country Team accomplished much.
“So, we start training in May. The kids meet on their own, and set their goal from May until school starts is to get 500 miles of running over the summer, which is on average five miles a day for a hundred straight days. Most of them got way over; some of them got close to 600 in that time frame,” said Lingerfelt.
The amount of people who qualified shows their dedication and drive to achieve what they have set out to complete by the end of the summer. The Boss Cross team had 23 members made it into 500 mile club including: Garrett Young, Jackson Miller, Mccrea Weller, Zach Whitmer, and other members of Boss Cross.
“And then we meet towards the end of the summer, and once school started…our goal from day one was to win the state championship, to be the best team in the state, and to also win County, District, and Regional. We went to a camp over the summer where the kids kind of came up with their goals where they made this goal list, and the top of their goals was to win the state meet, and to win every meet they competed in. In the regular season we only lost one meet- we won the rest of our meets, and then we won county and won districts. We got second at region, which was a little bit of a disappointment, but we came back, and competed a lot harder at state,” said Lingerfelt.
As a result of their disappointment in 2016, the Boss Cross team put their best foot forward this season.
“The top two teams got a big trophy, and get to go on the podium, so this is our first time going on the podium. Our goal again will be to win, to be first this time, so, we think we will be able to accomplish that next season,” said Lingerfelt.
Less than half of the team will be graduating on May 21, 2018, so the state championship will mark the end for their Boss Cross career. Next year, the Cross Country team will have a solid foundation to build off of and stride forward with the hopes of winning the state championship.
Sadie Testa-Secca // Co-News Editor