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Scores and Schedules

New Season, New Goals

Individual runners from the cross country team talk about their goals for the upcoming season.
Alyssa Neal
RACE READY – The girls cross country team huddles around each other before the start of the race. There were record numbers of girls out for the team this year.

As the school year begins, sports become a very important part of each and every day for many of our students. Cross country is one of the most challenging sports, both mentally and physically. It takes constant hydration, plenty of training, and even mental strength. With running comes obstacles, pain, and most importantly: goals. 

Each runner has their own vision for their season. Whether or not it’s as simple as being first, or not being last, or even staying hydrated, each goal has importance as it pushes the runner to do their best. 

Senior Tate Niklasen has many expectations for his final season, as well as a goal that is currently his main focus. “My goal is to run a sub 19”. However, goals don’t come easy. “I’m going to spend a lot of time training in the weight room and continue to push myself when I run, while still having fun.” Niklasen says he’s excited to spend time with his friends, and eat the food after his races. “The food is the best part.”

“The food is the best part.”

— Tate Niklasen

Freshman Allison Middents has many goals, from becoming a better runner who’s able to run longer distances, to “getting to know all of my teammates and have fun with them throughout the season.” Middents really wants to focus “on the positives, and not dwell on the negatives.” This is her first year in cross country, and wants to focus on her overall season rather than a specific time. She’s feeling good about her upcoming season and is looking forward to what will come in the future. “I’m feeling really, really good about the season ahead. I never thought that I would be doing cross country in high school.

“I’m feeling really, really good about the season ahead. I never thought that I would be doing cross country in high school.”

— Allison Middents

I feel like I am doing a lot better than what I expected to do in the beginning of the season and even during the summer. I’m just happy to be a part of this team and experience what cross country is like.” 

Senior Tyrell Williams hopes to be running sub 18 by the end of the season. “To accomplish this, I need to do our workouts to the best of my ability.” Williams is looking forward to getting better so that he can run with our top runners, but he knows the season always brings challenges. Williams said his biggest challenge is “not being at meets mentally or psyching myself out. To prepare, I use the coping techniques Varg talks about, like bracing and pacing myself.” 

Lukas Macias, a junior here at AHS, is in his second year of cross country and is ready to continue in getting better. “Honestly, I just want to beat myself from the day before, each day. With that though, I’m really looking forward to hanging out with my teammates and going to team nights, as well as seeing my progress throughout the season.” A challenge for Macias is the mentality aspect. “Sometimes I’m not 100% focused, but I just have to be mentally strong and resilient, and use the motivation from my teammates.”

Sophomore Makenna Schroeder is off to a great start for her first year in cross country. “I am feeling excited for this upcoming season because this is my first year. I love to try new things.”

“I am feeling excited for this upcoming season because this is my first year. I love to try new things.”

— Makenna Schroeder

Scroeder has goals motivating her in order to continue her career in other sports as well. “I am most looking forward to being in shape for basketball and seeing my improvement throughout the course of the season. I am going to work hard every day at practice and push myself to keep up with the others that are faster than me.” She hopes to be running a sub 23 5k by the end of the season.

Cross country is a sport in which it’s crucial to train physically and mentally. The runners for this season are taking that seriously, knowing it will be extremely beneficial in the end. The work is continuous and many goals are hoped to be accomplished by the time the season is over. The work has just begun!



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About the Contributor
Alyssa Neal
Alyssa Neal, AHS Needle Senior Editor
Alyssa Neal is a senior at Atlantic High School, and has been in journalism for three years now. She is a lead editor for the AHS Needle website. Neal´s favorite part about journalism is all the different aspects there are to journalism. Neal likes that there are many different ways to hear the news so that ¨everybody in the school can hear the news how they want to hear it.¨ Neal´s favorite memory of journalism was when they went to the KCCI news center in Des Moinesand got to see where they filmed the news at. Neal is looking forward to seeing how fast and how well their AHS needle site is going to be this year because right now it's going really well. She wants to see how many badges the site will get. Her proudest story she has done is her coaches vs. cancer story that she wrote last year for Pink-Out. Other activities Neal is involved in are choir, show choir, cross-country manager, girls basketball manager, Quill and Scroll, AHS needle, and NHS. Neal´s future plans currently are to attend Northwestern Christian in Orange City,Iowa. She is unsure of what her major will be. Story by Aydrie Coffman

Comments (3)

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  • C

    caliSep 26, 2023 at 8:42 am

    I really liked how some of the runners themselves had quotes of what they said in the story.

  • M

    MaddySep 25, 2023 at 7:43 pm

    So proud of the cross country runners.

  • H

    haileySep 25, 2023 at 10:32 am

    thank you for the updates