Cross country sets records, tackles challenges

Kelli Taylor


Kelli Taylor

Senior Ryan McLaughlin leads the group during the first lap of the Edmond Santa Fe pre-state cross country meet on Sept. 25. McLaughlin later set a personal record and school record of 16.14 at the Chili Pepper festival in early October.

Emma Attig, Reporter

When it comes to sports, success often becomes synonymous with winning. The cross country team would argue differently. They count progress as success, not just wins.  

The team has seen personal improvement for each of the team members.  

“I see people who haven’t showed up in the past showing up,” said men’s team captain and senior Ryan McLaughlin. “The main goal of cross country isn’t to be fast, but to lower your time, and keep proving yourself. The team is doing great in that way.”  

“Everyone has been super dedicated and hardworking. I couldn’t be prouder of them,” said women’s captain Lily Hernandez.  

McLaughlin said he hopes for his season to take off by state.  

Both the men and women’s teams have showed improvement, bringing home some hardware in the progress. Both captains hope to make it to state, but all they really want is the team to grow. McLaughlin said they do this by meeting for group runs at Lake Hefner and doing team building exercises. 

At the annual Chili Pepper Cross Country Festival in Fayetteville, Ark. earlier this month, several team members set personal records, including McLaughlin, who set a school record of 16:14:5 for the boys open 5K, coming in second place. Sophomore Ava Edwards led the way for the women, with a time of 26:35.4. 

“It was awesome seeing the big smiles on their faces knowing all their hard work has paid off,” Hernandez said.  

“[The team is] so encouraging, friendly and have great work ethics. It’s really motivational for the rest of the team,” McLaughlin said.  

The team will compete at the Regional cross country meet this weekend, with the site and time not scheduled yet. State will be at Edmond Santa Fe High School in Edmond on Oct. 30.