BRITT | The West Hancock Cross Country Team has already taken a big step forward this season.
The Eagles, who are in their third year of fielding their own cross county team after several years of pairing with Garner-Hayfield-Ventura, now have enough runners to compete as a team in meets rather than just as individuals.
Eight girls and seven boys are running for West Hancock this season. The only returning letter winners are junior Riley Hiscocks and sophomore Rachel Leerar.
Leerar said the Eagles are trying to score more points at each meet and improve as a team.
They also want to improve individually each time out, according to Hiscocks.
Their coach, Holly Lang, took them out of town before the season began so they could run on some hills.
"That helped us a lot," Leerar said, noting although Britt isn't hilly, some of the places where the Eagles compete have a lot of hills.
Hiscocks said the Eagles need to work on "not getting as tired during the meets" and staying strong throughout.
Another important thing is "being mentally tough enough to finish a race," Leerar added.
Since many of their teammates are in cross country for the first time, Leerar and Hiscocks need to be leaders.
"They (the new runners) are looking for mentors to help guide them during the race," Leerar said.
Lang is a big asset for the Eagles, according to Leerar.
"We have the best coach in the world," she said.