While most of their friends slept until noon, McKinney High School boys cross country runners were forced to wake up as early as 5 a.m., five days a week to work-out before the blazing summer sun arose.
The cross country team’s summertime initiative helped to condition the runners, coached by Francis Jones, for their upcoming season.
“It sure wasn’t fun; I wasted half of the days of my summer making up for lost sleep after the early morning workouts,” sophomore Cole Murray said. “But it all paid off because that extra running gave me an advantage over some of the competition.”
Based on their performance thus far, the runners are at pace to find success in their sacrifice.
“This past week at the Marcus Invitational, we placed first,” Cole said. “Everyone did really well. Actually, this whole season we’ve kind of kicked butt. We’ll at the least make it past the district meet.”
Senior Jacob Judd, a four-year varsity athlete, is the only member of the team to make an appearance past the district meet.
“I know what It means to succeed in cross country because my freshman year, we had a great team,” Jacob said. “We made it to the regional meet, and it gave me a taste of what it’s like to go far with a team. Most kids only are able to make it far as seniors and end up choking for their team, but because of my previous experience, I just want to do better than before and taste that feeling again.”
This Saturday, the cross country team will compete at the Colony Cougar Invitational, one of three remaining meets in the regular season. If the Lions are able to maintain the pace they’ve set thus far, the predicted district meet will soon become reality.
“In the long run, after working so hard and putting in the effort, the feeling you get after running a good race is indescribable,” senior Jacob Judd said. “It takes a wholehearted effort to get there, and I think we can.”
Here is a link to the lastest cross country state rankings, which includes McKinney Boyd in the 5A boys:
Story by TSB contriubutor Quinn Murray