The 2018 cross country season for the Pleasant Ridge Rams was described by head coach Chad Hendrix as a learning experience for everyone involved, including him.
The Rams were a young cross country team this season. The young team’s season was capped off at regionals with the boys' team finishing 14th with freshman Logan Beying coming in at 34th. After regionals, Hendrix said he felt like the team was still a couple weeks away from really being at their best.
He said the runners learning the amount of work cross country takes is what helped the team get better as the year went on.
“I think the thing that helped us improve the most was learning the amount of work it takes to be good in cross country,” Hendrix said. “We had a really young team with a lot of inexperience. I think it took a while for the upperclassmen to grow into leaders. It also took a while for all the new runners to learn just how hard you have to work. We started to figure it out with about three weeks left in the season.”
He said Holly Oatney and Matt Schmidt were the two runners who improved the most and the league meet was where they ran their best.
“Our best meet had to be the league meet,” Hendrix said. “We had so many personal best times that day. The kids really left all of their energy on the course.”
The team will also send off two seniors, Sara Nooner and Colt Ewert. Nooner was the most recent qualifier for the team and Hendrix said it will be tough to replace her talent. He also said Ewert brought a lot of leadership to the team and was a big help in teaching the younger runners.
Despite losing the strong runners, Hendrix said the future should be bright for the Rams.
“I think the future looks bright,” Hendrix said. “We have a lot of quality kids returning next year and some promising talent at the middle school. It should be a fun year next year and the years to come.”