HV runners perform well at state meet

By Travis Brown

STAR Staff

   Exceptional athletes are rare in our region, annually only a handful of local youngsters truly reach the highest level, but Happy Valley High School has two young runners that have reached that upper echelon.
   Katie Williams and David Hughes competed at the TSSAA state cross country finals last Saturday and both brought home the hardware.
   With last season serving as a breakthrough for both of these young runners, great expectations were placed on this dynamic duo for the 2001 campaign. With convincing results, both delivered the goods, with room still left for next season.
   Hughes and Williams are both excited about this season, and while mildly disappointed about coming close, they are focused towards improving next season.
   "I've been working on getting in shape, all I can do is try my best," said Williams "I just want to work hard."
   Hughes is also enthusiastic about next season, "I've been waiting for this and I'm real excited."
   Both these youngsters are committed to improvement next year, but as they are aware, track season is approaching, and conditioning for the upcoming season is in progress.
   "I have to put in the miles," said Hughes about his training regimen, "I have to keep on training and keep on working."
   Williams 3rd place finish at state was a personal best, but she is still not satisfied, and has learned some lessons about throughout this season, "I have learned not to underestimate anybody," said Williams "I feel like I run better when I'm challenged."
   Hughes is also looking to take that extra stride from his second place finish this year by taking the crown next season. However, he has something else on the agenda for track, the mile.
   Last year's 4th place finish was not good enough for the Junior, and he hopes to improve on that performance this year.
   Both of these youngsters had something to say for the motivation behind their running, and a good deal of the credit was focused towards their parents. Both expressed a debt of gratitude for their families, and their support.
   The odd man out is Warrior track coach Don Verran, both athletes are quite happy to have Mr. Verran as their mentor and motivator, "We love coach Verran." said Williams "They don't pay him enough."
   Regardless of Mr. Verran pay statements, he has a good group of young runners to take pride in, and two fine front-runners to be proud of.