Cross country capitalizes at OK white conference meet in Cedar Springs

Jessica Borowsky, Sports Reporter

Tonight was the second jamboree for the Rangers, taking place in Cedar Springs. It was an OK white showdown, with the opposing teams including Forest Hills Northern, Northview, Lowell, Ottawa Hills, Greenville, and Cedar Springs. The Ranger girls were just shy of a victory over Forest Hills Northern with 52 points but managed to demolish the other teams in the conference. For the boys team, the Rangers came out hard and strong but fell in third place with 66 points right behind Cedar Springs.

“Going into the race, out strategy is to go out relaxed and controlled and work in the last two miles.” head coach Ryan Schipper said. “With the weather being extremely warm and not ideal for racing, we want to conserve as much energy as we early in the early half of the race.”

The Rangers indeed came into the race with the mentality of conserving energy. With the temperature reaching low nineties, the race was not ideal for most runners. But despite the heat, senior Evan Purcell managed to glide through the race, earning a spot in the top 25 with a time of 18:43.

With only being on the team for a little over a week, Evan is exceeding the expectations of the cross country team.

“At first I was scared about him joining so late in the season.” says coach Schipper. “It is extremely difficult to jump into the season when we have been training for over a month. As the days went on it was evident that Evan is the type of kid that is a go-getter. He sets goals and achieves them and he is a major impact to an already strong boys team.”

Although Evan is currently on the cross country team, it was not his initial plan going into his senior year. His transition to being on the team does not seem to be a challenge.

“I was running almost every day this summer to stay in shape for this upcoming crew season and one day I just decided to run cross country. I talked to Ben Hall (a former graduate of FHC) about running for the team and he said to join for sure, that was the second I decided to join the team.”

Although this was the fourth race for most runners on the team, this was the first race for Evan. Knowing that he finished his first race with such a strong time, the coaches think that Evan will find his groove soon and exceed on the team.

“He has already shown that he has a lot of heart and with that the possibilities are endless.” says coach Schipper.

FHC has now put themselves in an outstanding position to win the conference, with the addition of a top-tier runner, and overall team success.