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The HCC cross country team comes together to win races. Cross country athletes, as in all sports, work hard not only to do well in their events, but to be there for their teammates. With the Hutchinson Community College team being a smaller team, that support is prevalent. “In cross country you essentially want to run with one of your teammates if you can,” Leah Nelson, Wellington, said. “You want to try and stick together because you are going to push each other through the race. And so as we run by each other we might give each other a pat on the back and tell each other good job, of course, in an exhausted voice.” Even though there may not be that many athletes on the team, the Blue Dragons have shown their quality as competitors this season. “We actually have fi e girls right now on the cross country team, and essentially we want to score a lot of points,” Nelson said. “And it’s amazing how we scored in the top ten in almost every meet we have been to. And we only have fi e girls. We have more quality that quantity on the team for sure.” The foundation of a good team is a good coach. Nelson said she has found that in Head Coach Justin Riggs. “Coach Riggs is an amazing coach. For example, I’ve never ran

cross country and now I’m the third fastest runner on the team and I’m keeping up with the girls that have been training all their lives. He’s an outrageous coach, who’s really got us up there. One thing’s for sure, if you trust coach Riggs, he’s going to get you to where you need to be to compete, for sure,” Nelson said. “He’s my 800 coach and I never ran the 800, and he coached me to where I could get third in regionals.” Coach Riggs has been with the team for fi e years, with this being his second year as head coach. Much like his athletes, he has been running most of his life. He started cross country in high school, then ran for HCC, as well as Fort Hays State University. This year has started out well for Riggs and his team. “It’s been a good season, a lot of new faces from last year, trying to find out what we got,” said Riggs. “I’ve seen some good things and good effort from people. So far it’s been a success for where we are and what we have this year.” Effort and mentality are two mainstays that Riggs brings to his athletes. “You can’t control a lot of outside circumstances,” said Riggs. “You can’t control how windy it is outside, or some days your body

The mens cross country team run at the Sterling College Warrior Fest Invitational. They had five runners place in the top eleven with Victor Pedraza, Pharr, Texas, winning the individual championship. Allie Schweizer



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10/27/2016 4:41:31 PM

Dragon's Tale - Fall 2016 Issue  

This is a student magazine put together by students for students.

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