The student news site of Atlantic High School


The student news site of Atlantic High School


The student news site of Atlantic High School



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SAAC - The Student-Athlete Advisory Committee is made up of 14 girls from all corners of Iowa. The girls met at the IGHSAU headquarters in Des Moines.
Empowering Today to Lead Tomorrow
Claire Pellett, AHS Needle Lead Editor • April 30, 2024

FOCUS - Junior Hailey Huffman focuses on nocking her arrow to get the perfect shot. Huffman  made sure her stance was strong and her bow arm did not shake. Huffman shot 3D where she shot all the different animals at all different distances.
Archery Is On the Rise
Anna Potts, Editor • February 23, 2024

Archery- in its tenth year at AHS, the sport is gaining numbers and more of its events are gaining publicity. On Feb. 25, Atlantic is hosting...

Fletcher Toft and Megan Birge dance with glee as vampire villian siblings plotting to kill human students. The play New Kids at Vampire High will be performed on Friday and Saturday nights at 7 p.m. and 2 p.m. on Sunday.
The Point Episode 11: Spring Play Special
Ella Meyer and Kate NicholsMarch 15, 2024

Hosts Ella and Kate talk with some members of the upcoming spring play "New Kids at Vampire High." Music by AHS graduate Evan Brummer.

IHSSA State Debate last January.
The Road to National Qualifiers
Alyssa Neal, Writer/Editor • February 9, 2024

It’s that time of year when AHS Speech and Debate heads to National Qualifiers, or “nat quals” as the team likes to call them. There are...

The Point Episode 14: Goodbye Seniors
Kate Nichols and Ella MeyerMay 15, 2024

Hosts Kate and Ella talk with AHS seniors about their high school career and their futures. Music by AHS graduate Evan Brummer. This...

THINK ABOUT IT - Kylie Templeton contemplates her answer as she takes one of the Intro to Journalism students quiz.
Buzzfeed Quizzes 2023-2024
Intro to Journalism StudentsMay 9, 2024

Annabelle Meyer and Aubrey Winford: What AHS Car Parker Are You? Aunika Darrow and Rylee Bengel: What Type of Lift Style Are You? Addison...


Completed Season, Completed Goals

Cross country runners who previously shared their hopes for the 2023 cross country season reflect on their personal goals.
The 2023 cross country seniors line up at the last meet of the season. The team consisted of 18 seniors, most of whom participated in cross country for all four years.

Cross country has come to an end for the 2023 season, runners have wrapped up their goals and taken off their shoes. Goals are a major factor in the result of a sport, and many runners had expectations for themselves. The question is, were these goals met?

Prior to the season, many runners shared their personal goals in hopes they would be accomplished by the end of their 2023 running career. Senior Tate Niklasen said his goal for his final season was to “run a sub 19.” Niklasen said he planned to spend time in the weight room and continue to push himself elsewhere. Now after the season has concluded, Niklasen said he did spend lots of time in the weight room during his season, but unfortunately did not reach his goal of a sub-19 minute 5K due to an injury to his hip that caused stress throughout the season. “I think I honestly have more potential and I’m going to continue to run.”

Freshman Allison Middents had many goals, such as becoming a better long-distance runner as well as getting to know all her teammates. “I have gained a whole new group of friends since the cross country season. Some of the friendships that I have now would not exist if I had decided to not do cross country.” As for becoming a better long-distance runner, Middents accomplished this with flying colors. “I believe that I achieved this goal because my times dropped throughout the season. In my first time trial, I was above 30 minutes, but by the end of the season, I was running under 24 minutes.” At the beginning of the season, Middents could not run over three miles, “but by the end of the season, I could run over five miles without a problem.”

By the end of the season, I could run over five miles without a problem.

— Allison Middents

Middents also wanted to “focus on the positives, and not dwell on the negatives.” Looking back on her season now, she only thinks of the good times. “I remember all of the good races I had and the personal bests that I ran. I don’t remember the races where I didn’t get the time that I wanted or when I simply did not race well.” At the time, Middents was “feeling good” about her upcoming seasons and was “looking forward to what will come in the future.” Now, Middents said, “I enjoyed cross country in every way, from practices to meets, and even team nights.”

Tyrell Williams completed his final cross country season with a goal of running a sub-18 minute 5K by the end of his running career. Williams had previously said, “To accomplish this, I need to do our workouts to the best of my ability.” Now, Williams is proud of himself regardless of the time on the clock. “With respect to the goal of running a sub 18, I never was able to get there, but I got close a couple of times with 18:15 and 18:20. I do feel a little disappointed that I was never able to reach this goal, but I am happy with my effort. I think that I still pushed myself and gave all I had.”

Williams said his biggest challenge was going to be “not being at meets mentally or psyching myself out.” Williams had said to avoid this, he would “use the coping techniques Varg talks about, like bracing and pacing myself.” Now that the season is over for Williams, he looks back proud of what he accomplished. “Overall I really enjoyed my last year of cross country, I thought the team this year was fantastic, as we pushed ourselves every day and strove to not just become better runners, but also better people.”

Junior Lukas Macias completed his second year of cross country and his main goal was to “do better each day.” Macias was also excited for team nights and hanging out with his friends, but was worried about “not being 100 percent focused.” He wanted to be mentally strong and resilient. “I had an amazingly fun time with all my teammates this season and was able to give more and more each day. I met my goal of not only using the motivation from my team but also doing my best to try to be motivation for them. This was a good season with a lot of memories and I’m excited to continue next year.”

I think I honestly have more potential and I’m going to continue to run.

— Tate Niklasen

Sophomore Makenna Schroeder wrapped up her first season in cross country and was very proud of herself as she accomplished many of the goals she had. “During cross country, my times fluctuated within a couple of minutes. Nearing the end of the season I could see my improvement of endurance, especially during long runs, and how the little time you cut off while running three miles turns into a lot of time while running six.” Schroeder was hoping to be in better shape by the time basketball season came around, and seeing her overall improvement within the sport itself. “Within the last three meets I had PR’d twice showing hard work pays off.” Schroeder is also starting to see the benefits of cross country in basketball. “Already with only a week of practice into basketball season, I can see the benefits of being in cross-country shape. I am able to run harder for longer amounts of time enabling me to play better and focus more on skills rather than being tired.” 

Schroeder had also hoped to “be running a sub 23 minute 5K by the end of the season,” and for her, this was a goal that was easily reachable. “I did complete my goal and was running around 22:30 at the last three meets. I felt very accomplished about this and it taught me to push myself harder. I was able to find a strength I had not known before.”

No matter what dreams or goals someone has, they are all reachable. Work, time, and effort all play a part in reaching what can seem impossible. Even when goals aren’t accomplished, there is a sense of accomplishment in knowing you tried your best or getting up and trying again. What goals are you hoping to accomplish, and are you striving towards improvement every day?

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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

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