Speer Academy Claims 2016 Girls Cross Country Title

Speer Academy was founded in 2014.  Coach Sean Forester and the Girls Cross Country team came out of the gates quickly, winning the 2016 Noble Athletic Conference championship in just their third year of existence.

With only freshmen, sophomores, and juniors enrolled at Speer, the Pride will return all runners for the 2017-18 campaign.

Despite their youth, Speer relied heavily on past experience to prepare for the NAC championship race.  “Last year, I saw my runners being a bit hesitant during big races, “said third year head coach, Sean Forester.  “This year, we took our focus from winning races to getting PRs (personal records). Before each race, I would tell them, ‘We have nothing to lose, but everything to gain.’ I believe this mindset made big races less intimidating and allowed them to focus on their role.”

Though individuals are running, Cross Country is very much a team sport.  It requires strategy and research.  Speer knew not all runners would place in the top three or ten, but they were collectively aware of the running times needed to win the team title.  Said Coach Forester, “We took a look at the other teams and how they stacked up against our times. Having this data, we established what role each runner would play.  They knew that we didn't have the times for all our individuals to place, but they knew what time each individual had to place to win it as a team.”

Nya Jackson (right), Cynthia Presa (middle), and Lizzy Flores (2nd from left) placed 2nd, 4th, and 5th, respectively, for Speer Academy.

Speer received a boost from Nya Jackson, Cynthia Presa, and Lizzy Flores, who placed 2nd, 4th, and 5th respectively.    Their concerted team effort to secure this historic first NAC title is what will be remembered the most.  “My runners definitely held their heads high once they learned they won the championship. This was Speer's first varsity championship, so they were proud to cement that legacy.”

Muchin claimed runner-up honors followed by third place, Noble Academy, in the team standings.