Hunter finished his cross country season for the junior high and came home with a medal and his school earned a trophy!

Hunter surprised us when he expressed interest in participating in cross country as a way to stay conditioned for soccer. We supported him. We showed up to his meets and we encouraged him from the sidelines and learned a thing or two about how meets are ran and scored.

Hunter was the fastest kid in his school and proved that week after week. He knew there were a few kids faster than him at the other schools in our district so he kept working to improve his time.

Last week was the city championships where all 11 junior highs competed against each other. Hunter got a PR of 11:49 for 2 miles and came in third place overall – better than he anticipated. The two boys that beat him were considerably faster and try as he may, he could not keep pace with them – but he ran his best race.

Not only did he receive his individual medal, but his school took home the 1st place trophy and banner to hang in their gymnasium which came as a surprise to us all because the numbers did not look like they were working in our favor.

It was a great season. I’m sure his coach was grateful Hunter was willing to squeeze cross country into his already physically demanding schedule. The truth is Hunter enjoyed pushing himself to the point of exhaustion and then realizing he had more in his tank to sprint towards the end. He made friends. He felt successful. He showed up when he didn’t want to. And he’s walking into soccer tournament season in better shape than he’s ever been in.

Chances are he doesn’t run in high school – maybe he’ll surprise us – but I’m glad he tried it this year. It’s been fun to watch him compete and be successful.