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Cross Country: Running contradiction – Thrill of competition drives Horner

By Richard Greene | Published Saturday, November 5, 2016
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Pushing On

PUSHING ON – Slidell’s Hunter Horner won the district title and qualified for the state meet last weekend at regionals. Messenger photo by Richard Greene

Slidell’s Hunter Horner doesn’t really enjoy running. But the state cross country qualifier loves the thrill it provides in a race.

“I’m not a fan of running. I just like the competition,” Horner admits.

Horner will get a chance to test himself against the state’s best Class A distance runners Nov. 12 at the University Interscholastic League cross country championships at Old Settlers Park in Round Rock.

“It’ll be a good challenge,” he said.

Horner qualified by finishing 16th at the Class A Region III race last weekend. Horner completed the 5K at Lynn Creek Park in 18:36.

Running in the heat of the day, Horner said it was not his best time.

“I could’ve done a lot better,” the sophomore said. “I was just trying to keep going.”

It was a far better result than the year before. Horner finished one spot out of advancing to state as an individual in 2015. But he points to that disappointment as the driving force for him this yearr.

“That helped get me through and pushed me,” Horner said.

He spent the summer running six times per week. He also ran with the track and field team in Denton.

This fall, he’s dominated a majority of his races. He’s won five events, including the 21-A district meet, running a 17:43.

At Round Rock, Horner wants to break into the 17s again. His best time is a 17:27.

“I’m going for that 17,” he said. “I’d like to go for a 17-flat.”

While he’s far from confessing a love for the sport, he’s grateful for the opportunities running has given him – including competing.

“I do it to represent my school,” he said. “I also get a lot of friendships from it. I enjoy that.”

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