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While the Cardinals ran well, they didn't earn a team trophy, but Elizabeth junior David Fine received the silver medal as he was the second runner across the finish line at the Class 3A boys race that was part of the Oct. 28 State Cross Country Meet held at the Norris Penrose Events Center in Colorado Springs.
Cross country is both an individual and a team sport. A team's runners earn points based on where they finish in the field and the team with the lowest score wins the meet. There are separate races for boys and girls in all classifications and trophies are awarded to the first- and second-place finisher in each race.
Elizabeth qualified both its boys and girls teams in the 3A division. Trophies are awarded to teams that finish first and second. Peak to Peak runners won the 3A girls team title with 82 points and the Cardinals girls team finished sixth with 183 points.
Classic Academy captured the 3A boys team title with a score of 82 points while the Elizabeth boys finished 16th in the team standings.
“Our kids ran well at state as members of the teams and as individuals. David (Fine) is an excellent runner and we are proud of what he accomplished,” Cardinals Coach Alan Small said. “Cross country is a pretty popular sport at Elizabeth and we are working to strengthen it. We are trying to build the program and we have started a club to encourage kids of all ages running. We also held a couple camps this summer for younger kids. We had 31 out for the team this year and we feel the turnout will be even larger next year.”
Runners also compete for individual honors. At state, medals are awarded to the runners who finish in the top 10 in each race.
Fine said it was a tough field at the race but he felt he ran well as he took second. Mason Norman of Classical Academy was the first runner across the finish line.
“I knew this race would be a tough challenge because there were so many outstanding runners here today,” he said after the race. “A couple guys took off very fast. I was able to stay with them. It was a tight group at the end of the first mile and I was with the group that pulled ahead a bit by the second mile. I did pray to the Lord when I got some stomach cramps and He blessed me as those cramps went away about the last 150 meters and I was able to finish strong.”
Fine was well ahead of the next runner as he came into the final stretch to the finish line in the Penrose arena. He ran the race in 16:02. He was clearly in second place as he crossed the finish line about 15 seconds ahead of third-place finisher Blake Davis of Lamar.
“Cross country is my sport and I love it,” Fine said. “I enjoy running because it gives me a sense of the spiritual battle we fight every day, because when I am running I am fighting the battle to push myself both physically and mentally to do my best every time I run.”
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