The Dripping Springs Cross Country Team recently traveled to Corpus Christi to compete in the Regional Meet, while also qualifying for State on Monday, October 26.
From the start of the season, there have been high goals set by both Head Coach Marisa Parks and the runners.
“Our goal for both girls and boys was to win district and qualify for state,” Parks said, “Winning regionals was extra sweet.”
While racing in this meet was a definite goal for both boys and girls varsity, it is not the final goal the team would like to achieve before the season is over.
“We really went in with the goal to win,” said senior Hannah Moore.
Similarly, the boy’s varsity team also had high hopes as a whole.
“To run to the best of our abilities,” senior Trevor Heinz said.
Throughout the season, each runner has set a personal goal that they have wanted to achieve before the end of the season.
“I really wanted to run top ten,” Moore said, “and I did, I got tenth place.”
Placing in the top ten certainly gave the girls that competitive edge they were looking for, and ultimately helped them have the first overall varsity girls 5A team. This is undoubtedly a huge confidence booster for the team, as many of them have not competed at the State meet before. This is where the much needed family dynamic of the team will come in.
“When you are able to get outside yourself, and give, and sacrifice for other people it takes what you are doing and adds a little bit more,” said Assistant Coach Travis Crain.
Coach Parks also agrees that the family aspect of the team plays a huge role in the outcome of each and every meet.
“This sport is extremely tough mentally, so to have a huge support group surrounding you is an incredible inspiration,” Parks said.
The mentality of each and every runner that makes up the team was affected through this bond of intense training, winning and defeat. But no one has been more affected by this than the varsity seniors.
Many of the seniors have been running since middle school with just one goal in mind, to qualify for the State Championship Meet.
“It’s amazing knowing that I can run with the top guys of the state,” said Heinz.
Dripping Springs Cross Country veteran, Moore has somewhat different feelings about the State championship, this being her second year racing in this ever important meet.
“It’s really exciting, but more than anything I was excited to just get one more race with my team,” she said.
Furthermore, both coaches could not be more proud that the team will once again have participants in this important meet.
“The girls are especially a great group, and ultimately what won it yesterday was their teamwork,” said Coach Crain.
Although the team, collectively, is on an all time high, there is such much that still needs to be done in preparation for this amazing opportunity. But both the coaches and runners agree that they really will not be changing much with such a short amount of time between now and the special day.
“We are continuing to train hard as usual,” said Parks, “We really don’t back off a great deal.” These preparations from the coaches do not largely vary from the preparations that each runner is focusing on. Although the each runner is a little more focused on their mental strength during the upcoming weeks.
“Setting goals both personally, and for the team will help alot,” junior Alyssa Schroeder said. Senior Heinz has been preparing for this race in a similar fashion, but still differing from many of the other runners on the Dripping Springs Team that are competing.
“Being one spot away last year was gut wrenching,” he said, “So I guess you could say that making it this year means the world to me.”
This certainly came as a blow, both mentally and emotionally, but it has made himself and his team stronger. This new mindset has pushed the team to have dreams when it comes to the overall predicted outcome of this special race.
“We’re predicted to do pretty well at State,” said Schroeder, “Right now we’re predicted to get about fifth.”
Many of the other teammates on the Varsity Girls team have very alike expectations for this meet.
“Hopefully just run and place to the best of my abilities,” Moore said.
For many teams, these lofty expectations would be something that would be a struggle in even coming close to accomplishing. But this team has repeatedly proven why they are now the number one Varsity 5a Girls team in the state of Texas.
This season has been an emotional roller coaster for (of course) the runners, but maybe even more so for the coaches.
“It’s obviously an accomplishment,” said Crain, “Those kids have worked hard all year long.” Head Coach Marisa also has similar feelings on this account, knowing that it is the last season for many of the runners she has been training with since freshman year.
“It’s so exciting to see their hard work and dedication pay off,” Parks said.
While there may be emotional turmoil going on behind the scenes, both runners and coaches will not let it get to them.This team has fought so hard over the last three years to get the senior runners where they are today, that they will not let emotions get in the way of their ultimate goal. “They have all been so disciplined and committed,” said Parks.
The amount of discipline that has been shown over the years will undoubtedly come in handy, as the team races in their final meet of the season. This race will be at Old Settler’s Park, which is the District Course of the Dripping Springs Tigers, so the team should do very well here.
“We are really familiar with the course because it is our district course,” said Heinz, “Knowing this I just want to run the best that I can.”