BRITT | The small group of runners out for cross country this year at West Hancock are doing it for various reasons.

A few are competing in meets, but the rest are running to get in shape for other sports or for rehab.

But whatever the reason, "We are all competitive," said sophomore, Riley Hiscocks. "We want to do well."

Even though they hate to run sometimes, they won't quit practice early and go home, according to freshman Rachel Leerar.

Cross country also is "a fun social thing to do," she said.

For the second year in a row, West Hancock is fielding its own cross country team after several years of teaming up with Garner-Hayfield-Ventura. 

They've lost several runners from last year, and this year's team is composed of mainly freshmen and sophomores.

Leerar and freshmen Chance Eden have been in cross country since seventh grade, while another freshman, Riley Eden, joined last year. 

Leerar said she isn't sure West Hancock will be eligible to qualify for state as a team due to a lack of runners, but she would like to qualify as an individual.

Riley Eden said most of those out for cross country this year are there to "try to do our personal best."

He said he's there because "I like to run."

Hiscocks and another sophomore, Mahayla Faust, are running cross country as conditioning for basketball.

"I like the feeling when you are done running," Hiscocks said.

"Knowing it's going to help you down the road helps you to stick to it," Faust added.