Highlands High School cross-country team wraps up season at Cherokee

Highlands High School cross country team ended their season in Cherokee on Wednesday and Highlands Coach Brett Lamb said all six runners showed vast improvement and set new personal records.

Highlands High School cross country team from left are Madi Drummonds, Logan Petrone, JJ Postell, Patrick Woods, Anne Marie Moore, Adisyn Westendorf, and Coach Brett Lamb.

Only having six runners, Highlands didn’t have the required amount to score as a team in the 5K race. Most of the runners who run CC also play other sports and Lamb said that shows commitment.

The beginning of the boy’s race in Cherokee.

“I am grateful to all the runners for their dedication to cross country and the other sports they participate in,” said Lamb. “Most of the runners spend the majority of their time at their other sport and give us 100% each race. I think doing many different sports is great. It gives the athletes opportunities to interact with different coaches, teammates, and their teams. The beauty of a small school is that kids can participate in many different activities that make them a more well-rounded person.”

Runners line up for the start of the girls race at Cherokee on Wednesday.

Highlands Patrick Woods also plays soccer and commits most of his time on the field, but shows up to compete when they have CC meets.

“I practice soccer and when we have cross-country meets, I show up to run and hope I’m in shape,” said Woods.

Highlands Patrick Woods on the last leg of a 5K race at Cherokee.

He added if he put some more time into training he could do better, but he has improved significantly over the season.

“I did pretty good this season,” said Woods. “Each race I dropped at least 10-15 seconds off my time, so I’m getting better. I just enjoy running, it’s different in cross country than other sports because you see different things every time; hills, trees, things that surprise you.”

Highlands Madi Drummonds said juggling volleyball and cross country isn’t as difficult as soccer and track, but she wishes she could train for cross country a bit more.

“I’m falling behind in my training,” said Drummonds. “I hope to practice more for next season and maybe I’ll be a little faster.”

Highlands Madi Drummonds begins the 5K race on Cherokee’s track.

She added that they may not be bringing home trophies, but it’s a lot of fun being on the team.

“I like going out with the team after meets,” said Drummonds. “Coach Lamb always offers us ice cream if we do well, but I never do so good.”

Highlands Logan Petrone said he had a pretty good season but was slightly misinformed when he signed up to run.

“I thought it was only one mile, but it turns out it’s three,” said Petrone. “But I did better than I thought I would, it was fun.”

Highlands Logan Petrone on the trail portion of the 5K race.

Lamb said the unique part of CC is that each course you run is different, conditions can be different, and the competition is different.

Highlands Adisyn Westendorf running on the trail in Cherokee.

Highlands competed in races with as many as 18 teams and as few as 10 that put them against some good runners pushing Highlands to improve. Lamb added he likes what he saw this season and hopes other students sign up.

“We hope that we can get more runners next year and be able to compete as a team,” said Lamb. “Our plan is to get the runners on a better summer running plan so they will be in better shape and condition, so the times get faster. I enjoyed my first year as cross-country coach and look forward to continuing to build this program up.”

Highlands JJ Postell (middle) setting his pace at the beginning of the race on Wednesday.

Highlands Anne Marie Moore finishing up a 5K race in Cherokee.

Highlands Coach Brett Lamb chats with Patrick Woods in Cherokee. Editor’s Note: They’re probably chatting about how far (and fast) Plateau Daily News had to run to cover these highly-trained athletes.

Article and Photos by Brian O’Shea
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