Follow senior Aleta Looker of Ellsworth during her season xc season. Looker finished 9th in the Class B meet a year ago, & 41st in the New England Championship. She is known for her 800m prowess on the track where she's run the #2 outdoor 800m in Maine history, 2:14.30.
This past week has been a whirlwind of emotion and unforgettable learning experience. Last Saturday the Eastern Maine Championship was an outstanding day for Ellsworth Cross Country. Many individual PRs lead to a huge surprise from the girls team placing third and the boys winning overall. Our success reflects the relentless work ethic, self discipline, courage, and perseverance we put into our training taught by great coaches Andy Beardsley, Louie Luchini, and Matt Homich. And second to none support from team managers Tim Curts and Dan Cox, team photographer Simon French, Hall of Famers Paul and Ernie, the cheering parents and dedicated EXC family, ARC coach OJ, and especially the athletic department at EHS who were there. A police escort met our bus on the way back to Ellsworth - we screamed through the windows coming into town and were greeted by honks and enthusiasm as we pulled into the school. Celebrating the long day with cake may have been the best part!
In the days leading up to States we painted team signs and had one of our "sign runs" - my favorite EXC tradition. Walking through the woods looking at all the signs from years past really made me realize that my senior year season is coming to an end. It would be one of the last times I could paint "EXC WIN" on my nails in preparation for a race! The girls wearing our tie-dye "roar" shirts and finally getting the official team shirts were other perfect ways to bind us together for the State meet.
Driving to Cumberland yesterday was bittersweet. Personally, the race itself was one of the most physically enduring I've ever ran (the heavy tightness in my legs from the gun felt just like I had been in a plane for hours) and it's exciting to have another chance to try my best effort at the New England Championship soon. Hopefully everyone enjoyed their State Meet experience and is looking forward to Indoor Track as much as I am! This season taught me a lot about the importance of diet, sleep, stretching, mental strength and positive mindset that I can't wait to use and improve on during Track.
Congrats to all competing at New Englands next weekend including the Ellsworth boys - let's show 'em what Maine Cross Country is all about! Many thanks to the Maine running community for making the many races possible and providing athletes with the opportunity to explore the outer limits of their potential while learning values to apply in their own lives.