Cross Country Teams Seeking Only the Best


The girls cross country team after their first meet of the 2016-2017 school year.

Both the boys and girls cross country teams are striving for only the best this upcoming season. The players and coaches are eager to achieve the goals set for themselves this year as a team and looking forward to what is ahead.

Junior Kevin Jacquez has been on the boys cross country team for 3 years.

“I hope to break 17 minutes for the 5K this year, and for the team to make it past regionals and go to states,” said Jacquez..

Coach Chris Loth, who has been the head coach of the boys cross country team since 2007, has similar goals in mind.

“Our goal every year is to win the conference championship and qualify for the state finals,” said Coach Loth.

For any team, there is always a rival school that is hoping to steal away a victory. Coach Loth is already thinking about where the challenges for the upcoming season will be.

“Our local rivals this year for the county championship are Land O’ Lakes,” said Loth. “Our district rivals are Plant, Steinbrenner, and Wharton.”

However, the boys cross country coaches and runners alike are ready for the challenges ahead.

The girls cross country team is also prepared and hopeful for the upcoming season. Coach Don Howard, who has been the head coach of the girls team since 2006, has two main goals for his team.

“Win the conference championship and advance to the state finals as a team,” said Howard

When asked which teams will pose the largest threat to hindering these goals, Howard explained just who the team’s looking out for this year.

“Land O Lakes girls in our conference, along with Plant and Steinbrenner in our district,” elaborated Howard.

It is quite obvious that both coaches have their sights set on big things. Coach Howard knows what his girls can do in these meets and is confident they will be able to achieve it all.

“The girls ran together all summer, putting in hundreds of miles,” said Howard. “They are ready to race.”

Senior Lauren Shulze has been on the girls cross country team for four years now.

“The girls are really good at motivating each other. I think this will be our best season yet,” claims Shulze.

Last year, the girls cross country team placed 2nd in the conference and the boy’s team placed 1st. The boys team also qualified for regionals, but did not move on to States.

Both teams hope to do even better this year, and are already on that path. At their most recent meet on September 17th, 2016, the Bartow Invitational, both girls and boys won 1st place.