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Demons prepare for region

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By Ryan Naus

The runners who represent Williamstown are young, but they’re talented and they’re hoping that talent will translate into success.

“We’re getting our sights set on regionals,” coach Michelle Whaley said. “We haven’t really worried about how we’ve performed at meets lately, but more on getting our times down and looking at the regional teams we’re facing. All of the times are coming down and the runners are setting personal records. It’s motivating them for regionals.”

Recently, the middle school boys took first place at the elementary and middle school regionals held at Pendleton County.

“I’m very proud of them and excited to know they will be in junior varsity and varsity in the upcoming years,” Whaley said. “Good things will happen in the future.”

The girls’ varsity team consists of two runners, Katie Butler and Emma Harris, but they push each other to be their best in both practice and meets.

“They are doing very well,” Whaley said. “I foresee Katie going to state again and I really see Emma going to state with her in only her second year running. Katie’s pushing her to improve. It would be great because it could interest other girls and get more to come and participate. They’ve trained so hard. I feel bad because they don’t have a team and have to compete against their individual performance every single meet. I think it would be a reward well deserved for both of them to go to state.”

“We have both gotten better times and stronger finishes,” Harris said. “We’ve had harder practices where we have distance days and we do a lot of speed work. I hope that I get my personal record and I make it to state. We have to work our hardest. It’s been a really good season and we’ve all improved a lot.”

The boys’ junior varsity took first place at the NCKC championship held on Oct. 18 at Williamstown.

“I was very proud of them and glad they had a chance to compete,” Whaley said. “Every single one of them medaled. It was a great finish to their season. They did great and I’m glad they did well and ended their season like that.”

The boys’ varsity team has started to focus on preparing for the regional meet, where if they place in the top five, they will earn a spot at the state meet.

“We’re really going to concentrate on our practices and regionals,” Whaley said. “We have a chance to go to state as a team, but we have to fight for a spot. It’s going to come down to three teams competing for two spots. Whoever wants it the most is going to get it. I really believe that they’ve been training hard and deserve to go as a team. With every meet, their times have gone down. They work well together and push each other in every race. That helps them to get their times down.

“Two of my top five runners are middle school boys,” she said. “Hunter Trenary and Drew Harris are ahead of their time and I can’t believe how talented they are. But I’ve got to watch them to make sure they stay healthy. We’ve had a lot of fun, even with the difficult training. The team is getting better with each meet.”

“I’ve stepped it up and improved from last year, just like everybody else has,” Derrick King said. We’re looking forward to going to state. We’re going to have to get to the top so we all have to keep improving and working hard. The work we’ve put in so far has paid off. Everybody’s doing awesome.”