Undesirable conditions challenge cross-country runners


John Nevins

Battling it out against opponents, Sophomore Tyler Adams (20:15 5K) competes in the flrunners.com Invitational 15 race.

The elements made for a difficult race this weekend as varsity and middle school cross-country runners participated in the flrunners.com Invitational 15 race at Chain of Lakes Park in Titusville.  Runners dealt with mud, large puddles of standing water and ant bites.

“Its crazy how different a course can be due to the elements,”  West Shore’s Coach Hayes said concerning the changing conditions.  “In addition to being physically prepared, you have to be mentally prepared to handle the toughest situations, like running through thick mud, ankle deep water and the possibility of being bitten by ants during the race.”

Varsity runners had to change their mindset from trying to post a good time to trying to out-place their competitors, similar to postseason racing.  The middle school runners had the opportunity to race against other middle school students on a two mile race course.

Middle school runners placed fifth out of twelve teams with an average of 13:16 (two-mile), earning themselves a spot in the FLYRA Middle School XC State Championship.

The varsity team placed 11th out of 25 teams, with sophomore Austin Camps (17:45 5K) placing 9th overall out of 205 runners. “Even though I didn’t post a personal best I enjoyed the challenge of a difficult race,” Camps said.

The Wildcats will race in the Holy Trinity Invitational this upcoming Saturday.