MURRAY — The results of the training that the Murray High cross country team has done throughout the summer will be seen today at their first race in Fulton County.
Although the team lost their seniors Emily Kinsey, Cole Kelly and Dylan VanceCharlie – as well as Charlie McCallister, who was the first boy to qualify for state in over seven years – head coach Emily Chipman has confidence in what her team will be able to accomplish this season.
The girls’ team has a lot of returning runners.
“These are the people that have been with me the longest. All my high school girls, I’m glad they stuck with it,” Chipman said.
Runner Ryann Doss said the girls all have a special team bond.
“Our high school girls’ team is really, really close,” she said, “We’ve run with each other for two or three years.”
In practice, the team has focused on consistency, endurance, long runs, hills and running on different surfaces — including grass, pavement and even the floor of the school hallways.
“I’d like for them to run together more as a pack, as a team, to be conditioned to the point that they can maybe place top three in the region,” Chipman said.
Chipman is aiming for the girls to place third at this season’s regional race, which will take place at Marshall County.
“I’d like to see a little redemption from when we ran the regional course two years ago,” she said. “It went from 70 degrees to 29 and raining. It was not everybody’s favorite or best race of the season. Definitely, we want to go back to state.”
Something Chipman is really excited about this year is the addition of a middle cross country team.
“With them, it’s just getting them to running and trying to work in some fun running games,” Chipman said.
The Murray High cross country team is unique in that they have both experienced and inexperienced runners on their team. Chipman is looking forward to seeing how the team performs at their first race today.
“We have people that have been on the team for three, four years and some that have never run before, so we have this untested imbalance. We’ll find out on Saturday,” she said.