Timber Creek Cross Country brought home hardware and high placements from the UIL District 5- 6A championships on Oct. 11, 2018. A  season filled with firsts, new Head Coach, Josh Allen, has propelled the team’s success with a different style of training than previous years, focusing on pushing the team’s overall betterment every single early morning workout.

Competing in seven meets together as a team, athletes have been conditioned to adapt to different sets of challenges as presented. Now, as the season comes to a close, qualifying members will compete at the NXR South Regional Championships in Lubbock, TX on Sat., Nov. 17.

Athletes like senior, Natalie Nartz, finished off their season with the UIL 6A Districts Championships. Reflecting on the past four years running for the team, as well as this season, she has spent each year preparing for any obstacle she faced, treasuring most in the process however, the family of runners and coaches she has grown to love, and now the inspiration Coach Allen has brought into that family.

“This past summer, we started student-led practices at Bear Creek Park…[helping] us grow not only as independent runners, but as an entire cohesive unit,” Nartz commented. “Coach Allen’s optimistic point of view has helped the team clearly envision and work towards our goals. Cross country is one of many sports that invites students to perform independently, but also compete as an entire team.”

Meanwhile, for team member and senior, Braden Lange, new coaching has also brought on more intensity and mileage as he prepares for the regional championships, making every last effort to qualify for state. With the team working to grow endurance and speed, Lange has pushed his workouts to almost 60 miles a week, while in previous years, he was running around only 45 miles per week, aspiring to be the best.

“I’ve definitely had to ramp up my training this year,” said Lange. “My workouts will continue to get more intense as I try to chase down a state title. I’ve realized that I won’t improve every week…or even every season. As long as I’m putting my heart into every single mile on every single day, those breakthrough performances will come eventually.”