Team builds memories |

Team builds memories

My dad, Bob Willey, has been a serious runner for almost 30 years. He has run the circumference of the earth (approximately 25,000 miles) one and a half times, averaging about 100 miles per month since he began running. My dad has also run one full marathon (26 miles), a dozen half-marathons (13 miles), and countless 5Ks and 10Ks.Despite being surrounded by runners all of my life, I did not get involved in running until my freshman year of high school. That’s when my dad’s best friend, and coach of the Demons cross country team, convinced me to come out for the season. I absolutely loved it!Cross country is the only co-ed sport at our high school. The team is generally small, and therefore we all become incredibly bonded throughout the season.This year was my favorite so far. Twelve guys and eight girls came out for the sport. We had a total of eight meets all around the state and had a very successful season. We also got to send some runners to the state meet in Colorado Springs.Both teams were really strong this year but especially our girls. It showed, too, because for the first time in Glenwood Springs High School history, we took our entire girls team to state! That in itself was an amazing accomplishment.The regional meet determines what teams make it to state. Four teams from each region qualify. Our team got the fourth spot.When our name was called as fourth place at the awards ceremony after the regional meet, everyone from Glenwood started screaming. All of us girls jumped up from the ground and started crying and hugging as we ran up to the front of the crowd. There are no words to describe the rush of emotions we were experiencing. The tears rolling down our cheeks were of pure joy and payoff for all of the hard work that we had put in over the season. We could not let go of one another. Our hugs seemed to make the whole thing real.The following weekend, we piled all of our bags into the minibus and headed to Colorado Springs. I had been to the state meet before as a spectator, but the experience is so much different to actually be competing. It’s amazing to be surrounded by all these incredible runners and know that you deserve to be there racing with them.Many athletes at GSHS have similar experiences. The cheerleaders have won state twice in a row. The volleyball team has also been very successful throughout the years. And all of the other sports have had outstanding moments and memorable experiences as well.That is the great thing about playing a sport or getting involved in high school: all of the memories. Our cross country team had a very successful and historical season this year, but the thing that I’ll probably remember the most is the team. Regardless of if you play basketball or golf, play football or swim, you always lean on your team for support. Running is an individual sport, but this year I would not have accomplished so much or had so much fun if it weren’t for the team. Thanks for a great season!Cassidy Willey is a junior at Glenwood Springs High School. She writes a column twice a month for the Post Independent.Cassidy Willey is a junior at Glenwood Springs High School. She writes a column twice a month for the Post Independent.

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