Underdog Champions

Crossings Track TeamCleats? Check. Fast legs? Check.
Great coach? Check. A track to practice on? Not so much.

Without the benefit of a school
track to practice on, the team at Crossings Christian School won the Class A
girls track championship and proved that talent combined with a few sprints of
faith is all that you need to score gold.     

They call each other sisters for
a reason. As four of the team members mingle while preparing for a photo shoot,
you can instantly feel the comradery between the group. As they huddle in a
circle, they freely talk about shoes and all the other important topics that
fill a teenage girl’s life. Just when you think you have them figured out, the
four track stars quickly turn into warriors as they pose strongly for the
camera lens. Photo shoots, good laughs and a reason to wear your gold
medal—this is the new normal for the former underdogs-turned-State-Champs.
Instead of letting the winning glory go to their heads, the ladies are hoping
to bring new meaning to the word champion.
“It’s not really about winning, but doing your best and being with the people
you care about,” says freshman Julia Sauer. “God took us all the way here.
We’re here with our best friends and it was just a great experience.”

When talking to the girls, the
subject of God and faith easily slips into the conversation. You instantly get
the feeling that there was a little something extra on their side that helped
pushed them across the finish line. “It wasn’t in the cards for us. We were
just running for God and it just happened,” says junior Cameron Shivers. But
don’t let the modesty fool you—these girls worked hard for their medals. They
built their trust in each other by practicing their relay handoffs every day.
When the girls were not dodging dirt holes while running through their school’s
field, they were bonding and building their chemistry off the field. The hard
work definitely paid off. The state championship was the first win for the
novice track team.

The girls wouldn’t have made it
through the challenging season without the support of their school, Crossings
Christian School, and their coach, Franci MacDonald. “She doesn’t care if we
win or lose,” says senior Kaylin Moore. “We could come in last place and she
would still say ‘You guys did great! That’s the best you could do!’” Freshman
Shannon Ashworth credits MacDonald as being a leading factor in the team’s
recent victory. “Is it ironic that the first year she comes we win state? No!”

MacDonald is currently looking
forward to next season, but she is not putting any pressure on the girls for
another win. She’s more concerned with making sure that they remain humble. “I
challenge them to be an example. We want to be good, but more than that we want
to be a light to others.” Just like her team, MacDonald is also taking time to
reflect on the past year and redefine what it really takes to win. “It takes a
lot of heart and a lot of faith. They have to believe in each other and in
themselves, but also know that God’s the one that gives them all the strength
and abilities.”

Spoken like a true champ.

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