Courtesy of LeAnn ALexander
After many meets and intense practices, three members of the Blue Waves Boys’ Cross-Country team competed in the final race of the season at the State Cross-Country Championships at Choctaw Trails in Clinton on Nov. 9, with senior Dylan Griffith finishing ninth with a time of 18:59.21 and seniors Carter Miller and Matthew Kapes following close behind.
Griffith said he was happy with the results of the state meet and had an appreciation for his teammates for a great season.
“I felt elated to be in the top 10 and proud to represent MSMS in the state meet with my teammates,” Griffith said. “The state meet was well organized with beautiful weather. I am very proud of the 2021 cross-country season for MSMS and the progress my teammates have made.”
The team spent much practice time preparing for the state meet. From Monday to Thursday each week, the team went on evening runs with coach Brian Burnes around campus. This preparation was different from last year’s, as the team had to train remotely due to the pandemic and virtual learning. Being together as a team on campus helped to create a stronger team and more beneficial training.
Burnes said the hard work his team put into preparing for the state meet impressed him.
“I am so proud to see our runners competing at the State Championship level,” Burnes said. “We are running against teams with much longer practice seasons than ours, so we have to start competing after only a few weeks of training. And our training has to fit in between all the other things we do at MSMS: studying, class time [and] dinner, so I am glad to see Dylan, Carter and Matthew make it to the championships.”
This state meet was important for the seniors, as this was their final meet at MSMS. As this year’s season came to an end, the runners reflected on the fond memories, strong connections and important lessons they learned while being a part of the Blue Waves team.
Miller said being a part of the cross-country team was beneficial to him during his stay on campus.
“I run mostly just to keep myself in shape and to have an outlet for my thoughts,” Miller said. “It’s almost therapeutic being on the trails, and it challenges you mentally every step so your mind and body are constantly working. It was a bittersweet feeling running my last ever meet. I’ve been running since I was in seventh grade. All I can do now is prepare for track season.”