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Off and running
WCMS launches its first cross country team
Rance McBride finishes his run with a sprint to the finish line during WCMS cross country practice Tuesday morning at Nunley Stadium. This will be the inaugural season for the cross country team.

Warren County Middle School will have a cross country team suiting up this fall for the first time in school history. The team will be led by current WCMS track and field coach, Patty Kelly, who took over for former head coach Rosemary Hilliard.
Kelly brings a lot of experience to the cross country team as a coach. Kelly, who is from New Jersey, was the New Jersey state champion in high school in the high jump for two consecutive years.
Kelly talked about how the team came about and what it took to finally get a cross country team at WCMS.
“We have had a very large track team here at WCMS and I thought this was a good way to have something in the fall for kids that don’t play basketball or football. We petitioned to get the team at the end of the school year last year and the school board approved it at the beginning of the summer, so we are all very excited to get the ball rolling.”
There are eight members, so far, including Alec Smith, Brandi Robinson, Walt Jones, Kamron Chilcutt, Carla Hubert, Rance McBride and Andrew Key that make up the team with the team evenly consisting of sixth, seventh and eighth graders.
Kelly is hopeful that when school starts this upcoming fall that even more kids will want to join the team.
“We have got the word out about the team through the internet, newspaper and text message, so hopefully when school starts that will attract more kids to join the team.”
WCMS cross country will be teaming up with the WCHS cross country team and travel to meets together this fall, where middle school teams usually compete first in the meets and high school teams follow.
The team has been working hard this summer to try to improve its times before the season starts with a lot of conditioning according to Kelly.
“You have to have a lot of endurance to run on a cross country team, so every day we have been adding more distance. We have light days and heavy days to build the endurance and open their stride.”
The team is hoping to set up a 5K in McMinnville along with the WCHS cross country team before the season starts and Kelly gave some insight of what the 5K will go towards.
“Since we are a new team, we really don’t have any money for funds, such as travel and signing up for the Mid-State cross country Association. We would split the money with the high school.”
The WCMS cross country schedule is not set yet and will be determined at a later date.