After a season of runs in the panhandle, Altha School’s Cross Country team loaded up for a weekend invitational in Daytona Beach at the Embry Riddle University. The Cross Country Classic sponsored by ASICS was nothing short of difficult for the Wildcats! The course was very challenging as it included all types of terrains, athletic fields, 150 meter grass hill, and sand trails. “As the College teams ran first and we watched them struggle with the course, we knew this was going to be the hardest one they would run all season,” Coach Sewell remarked. “The kids looked really nervous as they were moving into their box at the starting line. Maybe even a little overwhelmed at all the teams and people. As the race got underway they settled in and set their pace. By the finish line we could look at their faces and knew they had given everything they had. We were very anxious for the scores to come in. The girls scores were the first to be posted and then the boys. Both teams had placed 11th out of 17 teams and we were well pleased with that. We were very proud of their performances, but more than that we were proud of the mental toughness they displayed. This sport is one that will test you physically, no doubt, but the mental challenge at times to just fight through the pain and finish the race can be even greater. So beyond these kids learning the sport of cross country, I think they are walking away with some real life-lessons. Like the importance of finishing what you start, even if you are not the first to cross the finish line, what really matters is that you FINISH!”The team will have this weekend off and then it’s on to Marianna for the Panhandle Cross Country Invitational, Saturday, October 24. For the rest of the Cross Country schedule go to althaschool.org, and click on the other school info link.