Boys cross country team finishes eighth in 5A

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Lyn Schroeder

Senior Everett Schroeder pushes towards the finish line. Schroeder had high hopes for the boys team. “Coming into the race, we were ranked about eight or nine,” Schroeder said. “I thought that following region, where we all had a big surprise performance and shocked people, that there was a chance we could do that again, and maybe make a push for the podium.”

Will Randall

The boys cross country team wrapped up its season with an 8th-place finish at the GHSA 5A State Championship.
The Knights top runners were seniors Everett Schroeder, who finished 13th in 17:08, William Palmer who finished 26th in 17:30, and Marcus Johnson, who finished 50th in 17:53.
Entering the race, Palmer said he knew what he needed to do to be successful.
“Compared to the region meet, there were a lot more people; so, we focused on not getting boxed in,” Palmer said. “We just tried to put ourselves as far forward as we could; we wanted to stay with those top kids.”
Johnson, on the other hand, said he went into the race without much of a strategy.
“I try to go out there and just be as fast as I can be,” Johnson said. “I was just trying to stay with my teammates for as long as I could let them push me.”
Schroeder hoped the Knights could build off their impressive region meet, where the senior trio swept the top three.
“Coming into the race, we were ranked about eight or nine,” Schroeder said. “I thought that following region, where we all had a big surprise performance and shocked people, that there was a chance we could do that again, and maybe make a push for the podium.”
Schroeder’s key to success was sticking with top runners in the meet. Some of the top schools included state champion Decatur, runner-up St.Pius and third-place finisher Blessed Trinity.
“Around the mile mark, I started falling off from the top group, but I found this one dude, who I knew was pretty fast,” Schroeder said. “I was able to just stick on him the next mile until I pushed ahead of him.”
First-year head coach William Mohney said he was pleased with the team’s performance.
“I was happy with how we did,” Mohney said. “Obviously, I wished to place higher, but it wasn’t too shocking of a result.”
Palmer was satisfied with the team’s finish.
“We knew our team wasn’t super deep; so, we needed a miracle of sorts,” Palmer said. “We didn’t have a miracle, but I think we performed pretty close to what we expected; so, you can never complain about that.”
While Johnson was proud of the team’s overall effort, he was left unsatisfied with the end result.
“I think we really pushed; I think we did the best we could do in that moment. I think a lot of us still had that feeling that we could’ve done better, so it’s tough,” Johnson said. “I don’t think we were super excited with the outcome. We were kind of content with it.”
Though the result wasn’t an exciting one, Mohney still looks back to credit and show appreciation for the seniors’ contribution to the team.
“[The seniors] provided a lot of good leadership,” Mohney said. “They offered a lot of mentoring, especially for the younger guys.”
With the season coming to a close, Palmer looks back at the adversity the team faced and what it accomplished.
“There were some moments in the season where I was definitely questioning how far the team could go,” Palmer said. “In the end, I’m really proud of what we accomplished.”
According to Mohney, his first year with the Knights was a good one.
“I’m absolutely ecstatic with them,” Mohney said. “I couldn’t ask for a better first year with the team.”

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