The Keller girls cross country team won their district championship, and Julia Black was a big part of the reason why.
The junior distance runner finished third (18:38.78) individually for the Lady Indians and had the second-fastest time among the Keller girls runners.
Coach Brian Zaring said he has been pleased with the progress that Black has made over the last three years and said she possesses the kinds of qualities a coach looks for in a runner.
“Julia brings an infectious work ethic,” Zaring said. “She inspires the other runners to be better. She has a great attitude and ability to lead.”
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Black said that she is pleased with the way her team has performed to this point in the season.
“Our team has put in a lot of hard work this season and it’s really paying off,” Black said. “This sport won’t give you anything you haven’t worked for, and our hard work throughout the summer and into this year definitely shows in these tough meets.”
Black is a member of the National Honor Society, Green Cord (a community service organization) and is an athletic trainer on the football team, and she said that the most important thing for her is to do whatever she needs to do to help her team be successful.
“Every day, I try to encourage the team and guide the younger members of the team,” Black said. “I try to lead by example whether we are running, lifting weights or just hanging out outside of school. I work as hard on our hard days and focus on the recovery aspect of our recovery days. I value the importance of hard work while also keeping in mind the fun aspect that is necessary in order to have a healthy team.”
To finish out strong the way they did in 2015, Black said she believes it will take a couple of things from her and her teammates.
“Everyone will need to be 100-percent committed to the goal,” Black said. “We all know what the goal is and everything we do should be aimed toward that goal. Everything these next few weeks are critical. Things like eating right, getting enough sleep and working hard every day will help us have another standout season.
“We’ve already put in the hard base work this summer, now we have to build off of our strong base and continue to get better every day. Coach Zaring always tells us that everyday you are either getting better or worse. Let’s focus on getting better today.”