Emma Skinner’s ‘Cross Training’ Leads to Big Runs

Local Sports

MORTON, Ill. — Senior Sam Lange is having a tremendous cross country season.

And this is the part of the year he’s been waiting for. This week it’s the conference meet, then regionals, sectionals and state.

“I like the spot where I’m at,” said Lange after winning Saturday’s Runnin’ Red Invitational in Metamora. “I can just keep working on getting better from where I am. It’s exciting to think about.”

Sophomore Emma Skinner is also having a big cross country season. And she seems to be peaking with the biggest meets of the year on the horizon.

“After the big jump from last week’s time, I think I’m ready,” said Skinner after winning in Metamora as well. “There’s still a lot I can improve on, keep training hard at practice and I can (have a personal best time) again.”

Training hard at practice might be the key for both runners, especially Skinner. She is running with the boys team after school.

“They are helping me, pushing me, getting me ready for state,” Skinner said. “It was interesting at first. I didn’t know then but they push me because I wasn’t quite at their times. I have adjusted and I’m used to running with them now.”

Lange says their running pack stands out from the rest.

“It’s all the varsity guys and Emma whenever we run around town,” Lange said with a smile. “It’s nice we get to pace Emma when she doesn’t have anyone else with her.”

It’s no longer awkward for Skinner to run with the guys. She says this training is working for her.

“That’s what they say,” Skinner laughed. “I’m just one of the boys.”

Training together, Emma Skinner and Sam Lange are making the boys and girls at Morton difficult to beat.

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