CENTRAL POINT, Ore. — The Scenic Middle School cross country team finished undefeated and won the Oregon state championship. The runners on that team also accomplished their goal of qualifying for the National Junior Olympics.
“Before I didn’t really have that much confidence,” said Andy Monroe, “but after we showed what we could do as a team in cross country, it kind of made me know how to run my races and how to run smart.”
Andy carried that confidence in to track and field. It may be a different sport, but Andy and teammate Derek Tripp are seeing similar results.
“They understand how all their hard work, perseverance, sticking with the training program is totally paying off,” said head coach Alex Grover, “and their perseverance is what’s really put them over the hump and given them a national stage.”
Both Tripp and Monroe have the second fastest times in the nation in their races. Tripp runs the 800 and 1,500 while Andy competes in the 3,000.
“It feels kind of shocking just to be like there’s my name,” said Monroe.
“It’s just crazy to think that I’m up there on a national level and I’m nationally competing for both of my races,” said Tripp.
In cross country, the two ran against each other. It’s a different story in track season. They solve this problem by using their imaginations.
“I like to picture each runner ahead of me as Derek and I have to catch up to him and stay with him and then pass him,” said Monroe. “That’s what my mindset is.”
It’s one of the major differences between cross country and track, but one thing that hasn’t changed is the hard work Andy and Derek put in.
“Taking that type of success that they have with the cross country season, they knew exactly what the recipe was that they needed to attend to in order to have that same type of success here in track season,” said Grover.
That success means the rest of the teams in the state have their own work cut out for them.