Mission cross country team in the running to make history

Mission Runners
Mission Runners
Mission Runners
Mission Girls Runners
Posted at 1:43 PM, Sep 27, 2022
and last updated 2022-09-27 15:43:25-04

ST. IGNATIUS - What does it take to be at the top of your game? A work ethic spurred on by teammates who won’t let you quit.

They train in the shadow of the Mission Mountains with a work ethic as mighty as the peaks as they chase a goal that they set months before the season started.

“They decided at the beginning of the summer that they wanted to win the state championship,” Mission cross country coach Chris Eichert told MTN News.

Mission Runners

The close-knit group of young athletes holds each other accountable for their training schedule — and it is paying off as the Mission boys are number one in Class B.

“I would say the game day strategy is just, like, not really comparing yourself to others. Just trust in the work you put in and going out there and racing against yourself. That’s the biggest part,” said senior Andrew Rush.

“Every weekend, they’re running still. Every day after practice, they’ll run. They just have this motivation. It’s crazy. It’s awesome,” Eichert said.

Mission Runners

“Our school hasn’t won a state championship since 1956 so that’s one thing we’re trying to do. We’ve never won a cross country state championship. That’s our goal this year,” explained senior Zoran Lafrombois.

“Being from a smaller school, it feels good to represent Class B because not a lot of kids from smaller schools get to place high in those big meets,” Rush added.

Running is becoming more popular in Mission as this is the largest team Eichert has ever coached.

Mission Runners

The girl's team is also working hard, hoping for a divisional title as they cheer each other on every step of the way.

“Our team’s so encouraging, it’s fun to be around,” said senior Cooper Page. “And you have other people who lift you up and push you so it’s really fun.”

“Cross country is really supportive even from other schools. You’ll be finishing a meet and just exhausted coming across the course and someone from another school will say ‘good job’ and you don’t even know them,” pointed out senior Natalie Helser.

Mission Girls Runners

Now as the Bulldogs nip at the heels of a state title, their pack mentality could just be what pushes them over the finish line.

“We have a good shot at it, at winning State this year so I just think if we keep working hard and don’t get too far ahead of ourselves, I think we can win, and I think that would be good for us,” Rush concluded.