Cross Country: Fresh faces – New runners hit course for Northwest

By Richard Greene | Published Wednesday, June 20, 2018
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Youth Movement

YOUTH MOVEMENT – Six freshmen joined the Northwest cross country team this week, Javier Rivera, Jaydon York, Brenton Cooper, Alec Reesman, Rachel Plummer and Carys Bowler. Messenger photo by Richard Greene

Arriving for their first workout with the Northwest cross country team Monday morning, freshmen Rachel Plummer and Carys Bowler felt anxious.

“I’m nervous a bit. There’s more competition,” Plummer said.

Bowler added: “There’s a ton of older people and faster people.”

Plummer and Bowler, along with freshmen boys Brenton Cooper, Alec Reesman, Jaydon York and Javier Rivera, are eager to make an impact on the Northwest program that has produced several college runners in the past decade, including Wise County residents Kellee McCann and Troy Taylor.

“I’ve been waiting for this since sixth grade, watching my sister run cross country,” Cooper said.

The boys are joining a team that qualified for state two years ago and last year sent a pair of runners to the UIL championships in Round Rock – Carson Hughes and Jacob Webster.

“They’ve set the bar high,” York said.

The freshmen boys proved their mettle in middle school, competing against athletes who will be joining some of the top cross country programs in the state.

York finished eighth last fall in the Keller/Eagle Mountain-Saginaw/Northwest Meet of Champions, running an 11:26.7 in the 3,200-meter race. Rivera was 33rd, Cooper 34th and Reesman 80th.

“I like competition, and I know it will make me better,” York said.

Rivera added that running with the older runners will help them thrive.

“We’re going to work hard to help the program,” Rivera said. “We’re going to put in the effort every day.

“When my mom ran cross country, she learned by running with the guys and pushing herself. We’ll do the same by running with the upperclassmen.”

In the Meet of Champions girls race last fall, Bowler took second in 12:21.5. Plummer ran 14:05 for 36th.

Running with the experienced athletes, Bowler said it will be important to learn a proper pace.

“I need to work on keeping a consistent pace,” she said.

The freshmen know it may take some time, but they fully expect to leave their mark on the program and one day perhaps make their own journey to state and Round Rock.

“The group we have here can get there. It may take some time,” Cooper said.

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