Faith played a crucial role in the girls cross country team’s training for State.
Anticipation. Nerves. Excitement. It is all built up inside of the runners. Everyone is lined up side-by-side, nudging their way to the front of the pack. The start line is the only barrier holding them back. The gun goes off. And they are free. They are off.
Seven of Timothy’s girls cross country runners — Hope Clark, Elise Terpstra, Ella Vandermolen, Cailey Schuurman, Elena Munk, Paige Hoving, and Marta Veenstra — placed fifth in the Sectional Meet to advance to the IHSA State competition this fall.
“Cross country is unique in that you can have friendships across teams. We know the strength needed to finish the race, so we are excited and supportive of each other,” describes Elise Terpstra.
It was a long journey to get to State. They ran miles at a time for months on whatever surface they could get their feet on. “It’s a constant struggle to continue,” Hope Clark describes. Their legs are burning, their breathing is labored, and their bodies are exhausted. They feel faint and their bodies want to stop.
Without God, making it to State would have been a lost cause.
The strength needed to finish is not only physical, it is also mental. Running three miles nonstop is not an easy feat, and training for it is not simple either. The athletes must practice like it is the actual race, imitating the feeling that they get when they are on the course and using their teammates as opponents to motivate themselves.
“Not getting caught in your own head is something you have to focus on a lot, to keep pushing and working,” Elise Terpstra says.
But there is something besides the adrenaline that keeps them going. Their trust in God. Prayer is the extra boost that reminds the runners that God can get them through the hardest part.
“I do not pray that I would do well or win the race,” Hope says, “but that I would be able to use my gifts to the best of my ability and do my best.”
The cross country team is constantly praying at meets. Before, during, and after they are using their faith to help them power through their race. As they go through their 3-mile runs, they find time to come together and create an incredible bond with each other using their faith.
“Without God, making it to State would have been a lost cause. He gave us the hope and strength we needed to qualify. Not my will, but Yours be done, LORD,” explains Elise.
Cross country is more than just winning races and trophies. “You can run for the medals, yourself, glory, or fame but ultimately you need to give it to God,” says Elise. “We didn’t do this by ourselves.”
Competing With Integrity: Fall 2019
Middle School Soccer: Conference Champions
8th Grade Volleyball: Conference Champions
Tennis: All-Conference: Cassandra Lee & Alexa Yelenosky
2nd Team IHSTCA All-State: Cassandra Lee, also was in the top 12 players at State
Golf: Red Division Conference Champions,
All-Conference: Alex Mitchell, Kyle Mahler, Jason Grane
Cross Country: All-Conference: Caleb Mitchell, Hope Clark, and Elise Terpstra
Soccer: Regional Champions
All-Conference: Josh Wise, Carson Hooker, Josh Bode, Mike Vogt, Jon Stremler
All-Sectional: Jon Stremler, Josh Wise, Carson Hooker (All-Sectional Honorable Mention)
The Varsity team was also nominated for the sportsmanship award.
Daily Herald All-Area: Jon Stremler
Girls Volleyball: Sectional Champions
All-Conference: Greta Hoogstra