Ryan Shumaker came through for the Grapevine boys cross country team at the district meet, and coach Rick Miller was pleased with his effort.
Shumaker finished third individually (17:00.56) at the meet and led the Grapevine team to a district championship, defeating second place Birdville by 32 points.
“He ran a great race at the district meet, and his best races are ahead of him,” Miller said.
The Grapevine sophomore ran a 16:24.52 at the McNeil Invitational in early October, and Miller said that Shumaker sets a good example for his teammates.
“Ryan is a motivated, everyday person who leads by example,” Miller said. “He understands what he and our team can achieve and sets the standard for his teammates to follow.”
Shumaker is proud of progress his team has made so far this season, given the fact that most of the runners are still young.
“The season so far has gone very well,” Shumaker said. “We lost four great seniors last year and had a setback of losing our number-one returner to an injury last spring, but the team has responded great. We’ve had a a lot of guys step up.”
Shumaker also plays soccer at Grapevine and said that, along with Miller, it was actually an elite Grapevine distance runner and alum that has helped him progress as a runner.
“I learned a lot from Hayden Murphy last year about what it takes to be an elite runner, and I continue to learn from this year’s seniors about leadership,” Shumaker said. “Hopefully I can provide that for my teammates in the years to come.”
Shumaker took a bit of break before the district meet and said, while he was happy to finish top three, he felt that he has more in him.
“At district I thought I ran well,” Shumaker said. “It wasn’t my best race of the year, but I was happy to take third after not racing for two weeks.”
Shumaker said that the ultimate objective for the boys cross country team is the same as every other season, and said his team needs focus on execution over the next couple of weeks to accomplish that.
“Our top goal every year is to win state,” Shumaker said. “For us to win, we have to do the little things right over the next few weeks. We have to win regionals, stay healthy, have solid workouts and stay focused. Then, when we’re at state, we have to trust our training and coaches and know we can win.”