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Three years and running

West Lincoln Middle started program in 2001 and has yet to lose

According to the Webster’s Random House Dictionary the definition of perfection is the highest degree of excellence. It’s safe to say that the West Lincoln Lady Chiefs Cross Country program, not only has reached that, but is that.
The cross country program began in 2001. Including that year, the team coached by Jackie Heartman, Becky Engle and Mark Sain, has never lost a meet and has won the Tri-County Conference Meet three years in a row.
Jim Harkey, West Lincoln’s assistant principal, believes their achievement is made bigger considering the fact the Chiefs face bigger schools.
“The feat is especially impressive when you realize we competing against much larger schools and in middle schools your athletes are different every year, so it’s reflective of the athletes and the coaches to maintain that kind of streak,” he said.
Sain feels its the work ethic of girls over the past three years that has made the difference.
“We’ve only had a team three years, and we’ve been lucky because we’ve had a lot of talent. They don’t complain about running and I think that’s what really helps their success. We’ve had some awesome girls,” he said.
It’s that work ethic that has spurred some girls on to success when cross country isn’t even their primary sport.
“A lot of these girls their main sport was something else, but they’ve just come in and done the job for us. They’re just hard workers,” Sain said.
When asked if he or any of the coaches could have dreamed about being undefeated so many years in a row, Sain is honest.
“No, absolutely not— they’ve surprised us all. They get out there and run their hearts out. It’s really neat to watch.”
While some may give the credit to the coaches, Heartman defers the attention believing she’s just been blessed with great girls.
“I’ve been fortunate to have good groups of girls who are both good students and good athletes and are willing to work hard.”by John Mark Brooks

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