Effort is a key element in any sport. Whether it comes to running until your legs feel like they are about to fall off, to dealing with the frustration of not putting the ball where you want it to be, perseverance is something that an athlete needs if they want to survive the competitive nature of the sport that they play. For a few students, they were not only able to excel in using perseverance in their sport, but they managed to break records as well.

When she was playing soccer, sophomore Murphy Adams met her new track coach, and he told her that she should try out for the cross country team. Since then, running turned from something experimental to a passion for Adams, and with every beat of her heart, she found that it was something she could not stop doing. This year, Adams was able to break the records she set last year, getting 18:28 in the 5k run.

“Especially with running, you have to be able to have mental strength in order to get through it,” Adams said.

When she realized she had broken her already fast record from last year, Murphy felt a weight lift off her shoulders.

“I felt so relieved. I went so fast last time that I did not know if I would be able to do it again. When I realized I had gotten first place I was just happy that all of the work paid off,” Adams said.

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Junior Zachary West was reluctant to join cross country his freshman year, mostly focusing on football throughout middle school. He admitted that he did not like running at first. Then, West slowly and surely began to notice the thing that attracted him to the sport. Despite the sweat, gasping for air, and achy legs after a run, the thing that kept West running was the competition.

“Cross country is a way that I can have fun with all my friends, and I became interested because of the competition aspect,” West said.

West was ecstatic to realize that he had gotten first place in the 5k run at 16 minutes flat. It is safe to say, that for West, joining cross country was a step in the right direction.

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Senior Michael Wright began playing tennis at the young age of eight years old, and since then he and the sport have been inseparable. Although Wright broke the all-time singles record for LHS all four years of high school, he says that the most important part of the sport to him are the friendships he has made along the way, which will last him way past high school.

“Tennis is a team sport and my teammates mean a lot to me. It is not only a sport I love to play, but one that has gifted me lifelong friends,” Wright said.

Sophomore Ella Taylor grew up around a golf course. She would always go down to the course to play with her dad, who created fun memories for her. The more Taylor got to know the sport, she realized that she wanted to fully commit herself to it throughout her high school years.

“Golf has kind of grown to mean everything to me. I practice all the time and work extremely hard for tournaments, and I cannot imagine not playing it,” Taylor said.

Taylor was relieved when she placed first in sectionals, and she said that she felt a huge weight come off of her shoulders. She was relieved that her work throughout the entire season had payed off, and her nerves began to melt away. The buildup to sectionals was finally over, and Taylor had emerged from the tournament victorious.

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“Since sectionals was a playoff, it was so much more intense,” Taylor said.

Senior Carson Burtron began playing soccer his seventh grade year following a collarbone injury while playing football. Because of this, he realized that football was not quite for him, and he switched to the sport that he would soon have much more meaning to him than he bargained for.

“Soccer at the high school meant a lot to me because it was a place where I could grow as a person. By joining soccer, I also really expanded my entire friend group and I was able to get to know more of the boys,” Burtron said.

Burtron set the record for the most goals scored in one season at LHS with 26 total goals.  He admitted, though, that he was oblivious to this throughout the season. Burtron was not in it for the statistics, but rather was determined to prove that his and his teammates’ hard work had truly paid off.

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“I really worked hard over the summer, and I think the record is a great way to show all the hard work I put in. The thing is, I did not really think about it. I did not really think about it, I just kept scoring goals and my teammates did a great job at assisting me. The whole end goal was to keep winning games and just prove our record as a team. Scoring all of those goals was kind of just a supplement to that,” Burtron said.