By Kevin Dinh
Climbing the 2.55-mile to the top of Poage Mt. culminated six years of tough training in the cross-country program for Patrick Daly ‘20, the team leader.
“The last mountain run was bitter-sweet,” Daly said, “because it is my favorite workout and really checks our fitness before states and knowing it was my last time running it.
“It was great to see how well our team did and put in a really great hard effort . . . . I was very excited to break the record set by Harry Pearson by 10 seconds.”
Coach Ed Dickenson said the mountain run goes from pavement to gravel up 27% grades in various places. “Patrick killed it,” he said.
The team bonds over the rigorous run, taking team photos at the top, including a mini version of the unoffical team mascot - the sloth.
Initiated by Kerrigan Chaney ‘24, who recently placed fourth in the state championships for middle school girls, the sloth adds levity to the grind.
“We didn’t choose the sloth,” said Michael Habib ‘20, “the sloth chose us.”
Daly recounts it with glee.
“We chose sloth as our mascot because during track and field Kerrigan carried her sloth to practice one day and we loved it. Sam [Karlen] and I thought sloth was so funny, and then she brought it to the cross country team and now it is the team animal.”
The boys are approaching their final race of the season by making goals.
Habib hopes to place as all-state and help the team get top-three.
“This year at states,” Daly said, “I hope to achieve a top-10 place after receiving 4th at conference.”