There is a bright future ahead for the Daly Middle School and Lakeview High School Cross Country teams, but last week it was time to take a look back at the 2019 season.
A post-season awards banquet was held at Lakeview High School on Tuesday, Nov. 12, welcoming athletes and families for a potluck dinner and team awards. Coaches Bobbie Steninger and Caleb Howard oversaw the proceedings, detailing the performance of each athlete that participated.
Steninger thanked the school administrators, parents, Howard’s support, and Emma Villagrana for her support in coordinating travel arrangements. She detailed the philosophy behind the team’s approach to practice and events, and highlighted the season which culminated in a district title for the girls high school team and two runners placing in the top-10 at the state championships. The high school boys team finished third overall at districts.
“Wins and losses mean nothing in cross country, because we deliberately make sure our competition is tough,” explained Steninger. “We won’t improve running over easy competition. These people rose to that level. We are very proud of every one of our athletes, all of them bring something different and that makes it fun.”
Individual accolades were distributed, including awards voted on by teammates. For middle school athletes Hayden Garton was named Most Outstanding, Most Inspirational and Most Improved among DMS male athletes. Shawnie Gerber earned Most Inspirational honors, while Elizabeth Goeres collected the MVP award and Most Outstanding, and Nola Riches was voted Most Improved among DMS female runners.
Among high school athletes, Luis Villalobos was named Most Inspirational and Zach Ketcham was voted Most Improved among male runners. Senior Paul Lindsley was voted MVP.
Scarlett Taylor was named Most Improved by teammates for female athletes, and Ella Villagrana earned the MVP award. Kaley Schneider, who at the end of proceedings addressed the crowd to thank coaches and supporters on behalf of all athletes, was named Most Inspirational.
William Goeres, Samantha Hopper, Villagrana, and Schneider all also received scholar athlete honors for maintaining a minimum 3.5 grade point average the previous term.
At the end of the event several athletes led by Schneider also thanked Greg Christensen, a Klamath Falls resident who routinely traveled to Lakeview to run with the team and attended events. The team declared Christensen their No. 1 fan.
“We are forever grateful for all that you do,” said Schneider.
For several athletes the season was not technically over, as a select number of athletes traveled to Boise, Idaho on Saturday for the NXR Northwest Regional Championships.
For video of the LHS post-season banquet visit the Examiner Facebook or YouTube pages.