Greenback runners are meeting goals, getting better each day.

The Pratt Girls Cross Country team took first place for the second year in a row at the CKL (Central Kansas League) meet, along with many impressive individual medalists last week. Sophomore Addie Hoeme took home the gold for the girls 5K with a time of 21:19.4. Junior Sian Helfrich was right behind her in second place with a time of 21:38.8. Freshman Jena Haas placed 10th, sophomore Casey James placed 11th, and freshman Emma Gilpin placed 14th out of 38 league runners. For the boys 5K, Raul Orozco took 7th place with a time of 18:44.4.
Hoeme explained her goal for herself and for her team for the season.
“My main goal this year was to run in 19s and I accomplished that goal by running a 19:23,” Hoeme said. “I also this year want to place in the top ten at state individually and have our girls team place in the top five teams at state.”
As for the goal to place well at the league meet, they have succeeded as a team.
“I think our team performed very well. We had a goal and went out and ran hard and completed our goal,” Hoeme said.
To prepare for regionals, they will keep doing what has worked for them so far this season.
“We plan to do our normal routine of workouts, but with a bigger goal in mind,” Hoeme said.
Hoeme says the girls have seen many successes outside of their main goals.
“The biggest success for our girls team was being able to have 5 girls in the top 15 and then our other two girls come in right behind that,” Hoeme said.
Head coach Kathy Hitz explained what she thought to be the team’s greatest success.
“The biggest success for the kids was competing even when conditions weren't the most desirable and your body is not cooperating with you,” Hitz said.
Though the boys team didn’t see the results they wanted, coach Hitz felt they worked hard.
“I felt like as a whole everyone raced hard. The boys' day definitely did not go their way.” Hitz said, “We wanted to be in the top three.”
Hitz felt the weather played a part in the boys’ performance.
“After having two cool meets I believe the warm, windy day caused some of them to get dehydrated. Times were not what they wanted but again, warm, windy and rough footing played into that,” Hitz said. “Regardless of the conditions though we came ready to compete.”
Hitz plans to prepare the team the same she has been all season, because this late in the season, she can’t introduce anything new.
“As we prepare for regionals our training stays relatively the same,” Hitz said. “There is a little less volume, intensity level stays the same. There is a quote I was reminded of recently that says, 'Dance with the one who brought you.' So we maintain, with little drops in the amount.”
Hitz believes the team has met most of their goals so far this season.
“Some of our goals have been to get better every day, run to our potential and be competitive,” Hitz said. “I have seen that among the team.”
After seeing so much success at league, she is aiming even higher for regionals.
“As for regionals, of course we are aiming to qualify as many as we can for state,” Hitz explained. “To qualify as a team we must place in the top 3. You can also qualify as an individual by placing in the top 10.”
Hitz will encourage her team to remember the mental aspect of the sport for regionals, as well as keeping their physical health in check.
“I will encourage getting a little more rest outside of practice, eating well, stretching and rolling out. We will also spend some time talking about preparing mentally, and then most of all go have fun competing,” Hitz said.
Pratt Cross Country will compete at regionals on Saturday, Oct. 26; location to be determined.