Runners Get Stronger With Offseason Work

The girls cross country team spend four days at summer running camp in West Plains

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Runners Get Stronger With Offseason Work

Cross country coach Glavin took 11 runners to Joe Bill Dixon's running camp this summer.

Cross country coach Glavin took 11 runners to Joe Bill Dixon's running camp this summer.

Trudy Flynn

Cross country coach Glavin took 11 runners to Joe Bill Dixon's running camp this summer.

Trudy Flynn

Trudy Flynn

Cross country coach Glavin took 11 runners to Joe Bill Dixon's running camp this summer.

Emily Barnett, Reporter

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Summer for most high schoolers can be defined as time off from long tiring commitments, and a chance to relax. Where some students stay up late and sleep in, others wake up early and get to work. Liberty’s cross country team has no break and continues to hold practice throughout the summer and winter seasons. 

During the summer, Coach Glavin takes runners who sign up to Joe Bill Dixon’s running camp in West Plains. Some of Missouri’s best cross country teams in the state along with other local teams attend camp for four days of physically and mentally challenging tasks. This year, 11 of the Liberty girl runners attended camp from July 7-11. 

“It definitely pushed you; it at least pushed me to my limit and made me work harder than I usually work in cross country practices here but I felt like I learned a lot and it was a very good experience,” sophomore Jade O’Neill said, who attended the camp for the first time. 

The camp splits up runners into five different boy and girl groups based on ability. Each day, the groups go out on two runs. One in the morning, and one in the evening. The course and routes remain on hilly roads that surround the camp. Campers hear from different coaches and speakers throughout the week, who talk about hard work and what it means to be an athlete. During this year’s camp, runners got to hear from a Holocaust survivor who spoke about his past struggles and overcoming tough circumstances which shape a person into who they are meant to be.

“West Plains is a good camp. It is very challenging but there is a lot of team bonding and you get to hear from the best coaches in the state,” Glavin said.

On the last day of camp, runners have the option to wake up extra early and take part in a 13.7 mile run called the Dawt Mill run. Runners also get to meet and bond with other competitors throughout camp during free time activities such as tubing, hiking and group challenges. While Joe Bill Dixon running camp is hard, there is something about camp which successfully draws in runners every single year. 

West Plains is a good camp. It is very challenging but there is a lot of team bonding and you get to hear from the best coaches in the state”

— Coach Glavin

“I go back to camp because it is a really good experience and it makes you stronger, it’s really fun bonding with the girls,” senior Caitlynn Chaney said, who has attended the camp three times. 

Despite the challenge, camp relates to the toughness of being a runner and the toughness of life in general. The camps motto, Hard Work Changes Things goes to show that getting uncomfortable isn’t always a bad thing. After an accomplished week, runners are left with a sense of accomplishment from the hard work they’ve put in and the close bonds they formed, which is why many choose to come back