CC Seniors Leave Big Shoes to Fill


Courtesy of Johnny Beaman

Seniors (Left to right) Zion Smith, Clay Casner, and John Beaman smile after another successful meet.

Nate Martinez, ENN Staff

As the cross country season winds down, reality starts to settle in as the senior runners begin to realize they’ll never run in a Lake Ridge Cross Country uniform again.

“It was bittersweet knowing it was my last meet with my friends that I’ve grown so close to over the years but I look forward to the many races ahead of me in college,” said senior, Clay Casner.

Casner has committed to running at Northwestern State University.

Senior, Cassidy Lindell shares a similar mindset as her season has ended.

“Running my last cross country race was definitely an emotional time, I am beyond proud of my accomplishments over the years, I just don’t want to leave my team, as we head our separate ways for college,” Lindell said.

According to senior, Zion Smith the team runs nearly thirteen miles a week during practice. Smith along with Casner have to carefully train their body to handle such rigors which include getting plenty of rest and eating right.

“I try and eliminate fast food from my diet but I settle for only two times a week because being busy with school and cross country sometimes it’s the only option,” Smith said.

Casner takes his diet to another level entirely.

“Personally, I am vegan. It has helped my performance tremendously because, it allows me to stay energized and gives me some more confidence knowing that I am putting the right things in my body before meets,” said Casner.

As senior athletes know, there comes a time when the decision needs to be made whether to be a “normal” college student or continue down the student athlete path.

Smith is eager to see what the next level has to offer.

“I’m excited to run in college but I’m looking more forward to running track and field rather than cross country. I am looking to run at the University of Houston, I was just on a visit there this month and I loved the atmosphere,” Smith said.

“I don’t plan on running competitively in college but I look forward to either joining or starting a run club wherever I go,” said Lindell.

“Running in college isn’t a focus of mine, I’ve been running for four years and it serves as an outlet for me. I also play tennis and I’m focusing on the playoffs. I want to attend the Texas A&M University,” senior Johnny Beaman said.

As in any sport, memorable moments are shared but one stood out in particular for Beaman.

“It was the last district meet, I fell on the last 200 meters of the race and had blood running down my leg and I scraped my foot really bad. I managed to get up and still place,” Beaman said.

The Lake Ridge Cross Country team will continue on next year without its seniors, but this senior class is leaving behind some some big running shoes to fill.