Cross country begins year with new energy

By Brett LaBore

When it comes to the Cross Country athletes at Bethany, there’s always a reason to smile and have fun.

Head Coach Michael Dunn is entering his second year at the helm of the men’s and women’s Cross Country team and he couldn’t be more excited. There seems to be an ecstatic atmosphere surrounding the team with a high number of athletes competing for both teams.

This makes for fun practices and exciting meets. One doesn’t have to go far to see Coach Dunn smiling.

“A lot makes me excited,” said Dunn.

This all starts with the captains. They have a mentality that extends throughout the team. Junior David Luehring talked about being a captain for the men’s team.

“It takes a lot of responsibility and leadership. Everyone is understanding and that makes it fun,” said Luehring.

Not only do they provide the team with a fun, relaxed atmosphere, but they know when to put in the work. This mentality helped the women’s team place first in their first meet of the year on Sept. 2.

One individual in particular who’s making strides is junior Anna Lieske. She’s entering her second year of Cross Country and is feeling a lot better.

“I started Cross Country for the first time last year. The difference is I’m more knowledgeable about the sport,” said Lieske. She’s now one of the captains for the women’s team.

One thing that can always be said about the teams is the effort they put in each and every week. They’re going to give everything they have every day and bring that mentality to meets.

“We don’t have a lot of numbers, but we have a lot of effort,” said Luehring.

Not only is the effort there, but so is the encouragement. Every­one on the team supports and cheers for each other and that makes it easier when running a tough race. There is definitely a family atmosphere when being around the team. Everyone is comfortable around each other and having a good time.

This effort and fun all stems from Coach Dunn, who says he’s more comfortable this year and familiar with the athletes. “They know how I coach and how practices go. I know their strengths and weakness and the ground­work been laid down,” said Dunn.

You don’t have to go far to run into these athletes. If you do they will smile at you and may just ask you if you like to run. That type of energy and enthusiasm goes with them each and every day.

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