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Competition and encouragement go hand in hand on the team. “There’s always that competitive edge,” said Riggs. “You always want to be one of the best on the team, so just competing with each other, and luckily they have been friendly enough with each other that they can do that without being too personal about it. You want to finish high on the team, so just knowing where your teammates are at in the race, and honestly cross country is one of those sports where once the gun goes off, the competition has started, everything you can do to prepare is over, so it’s just in that moment. There are no time outs or substitutions or anything like that so it’s really just all on the individuals. But I think a big motivating factor is

wanting to do well overall but also wanting to be good for the team, and place well on the team, and be a contributor.” The team also works hard as student athletes. They get up at 6 a.m., three days a week as well as practicing each day after class. The athletes run close to an average of 55 miles per week in a six-day period. This is combined with studying for classes and maintaining a social life. “Mentally, if you look at that side of it, really just keeping yourself motivated,” Riggs said. “Being motivated to endure the things you have to endure to be able to reach the level of physical fitness that you have to be at.”

The ladies Blue Dragons Cross Country team prays together to prepare for the upcoming race. They ended the Sterling meet with a second place finish. Allie Schweizer

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Dragon's Tale - Fall 2016 Issue