Flames cross country finish season
The Lee Flames and Lady Flames finished the season in Saint Leo, Florida at the NCAA Division II National Championship.
The men placed 18th out of 32 teams improving from 25th last year. Junior Harold Smith was the first Flame to finish, placing 81st with a time of 32:04.2. Next was Seth Eagleson, who placed 88th with a time of 32:09.4
In the first 400m of the race, Freshman Christian Noble lost his shoe and continued to run the entire race without it. Despite losing his shoe, Noble placed third out of the Lee runners and 96th overall with a time of 32:14.0
“I don’t recommend running on a cross-country track without shoes,” Noble said.
Noble also said that other than some blisters and bruises his foot is in good condition. He said that in the future he would be sure to “Tie my shoes tighter.”
This was the first season the Lady Flames have qualified to compete at Nationals. They placed 28th out of 32 teams. Junior Audrey Smith was the first Flame to cross the finish line with a time of 21:57.0 placing 65th.
“I just see such dedication in each of our girls,” Smith said. “We’re still hungry to get better and will continue to try to make more of every season to come.”
Smith says the team took it easy before the race to be sure they were well rested. They also trained indoors because of the poor air conditions from the nearby forest fires.
Assistant Head Coach Joseph Crooke reflected on the women’s season.
“Overall it was a very good, solid season. The women came out and performed as good or actually better than we anticipated going in. We had a really good season.”
Coach Crooke also said that one of the key ways for both cross-country teams to improve is “consistency.”
Not only did the team finish strong, but the coaching staff did as well. Head Coach Caleb Morgan was named South Region Coach of the Year this year.
“Every year since he has been coach, both teams have gotten stronger and had greater presence on the national level,” Smith said. “This award is just a testament to his hard work and dedication to training us to run at the best of our abilities.
Now that Cross-Country is over for the year, Track will be starting this spring semester in January.