- Last Updated on 12:22 PM 04/23/12
- BY Joe Chandler
Ethan Collie had no idea he would see the kind of success he has experienced thus far as a runner for the Halifax County High School boys cross country team.
Collie, a sophomore, is a wrestler on the high school wrestling team. Wrestling is his primary sport, and this past season, he led the Comets grapplers in wins.
He is beginning to find he also has a place in cross-country running.
Collie has won both of his two races here at his home course at Edmunds Park. When he has not won races, Collie has emerged as the top finisher among his teammates.
The Comets sophomore runner will be trying to make it three wins in a row today when Halifax County High School hosts the Western Valley District Preview Meet, which starts at 5 p.m.
“I didn’t think I would have this good of a year at all,” Collie said.
“The only reason I started running cross country was to get in shape for wrestling season. I had no idea I would be this good at it.”
Training for cross country is tough work. Hard work is nothing new for Collie. He is used to wrestling workouts, which are also pretty tough.
“I enjoy cross country most of the time,” Collie pointed out.
“The meets are very difficult, but I enjoy practice.”
Comets cross country Ccoach Brady Taylor says Collie has become a nice surprise for the team.
“There have been a couple of surprises among the new boys and girls on the team,” Taylor said.
“Ethan has been the biggest surprise for us. We expected him to do pretty well, but we didn’t necessarily expect him to come out and lead the team.”
Taylor pointed out most of the runners on the Comets boys and girls cross country teams are students who compete in other sports.
“Most of the girls on the team are soccer players and softball players,” explained Taylor.
“Most of the boys on the team are wrestlers. In the past, we’ve had a good deal of baseball players on the team. We don’t normally get a big group of students that are just runners. We do have a few. Evan Morrison is one, but he’s also a soccer player.”
In most instances, it is the pure runners that see the majority of the success in cross country and track and field. Yet, Taylor, who also is the head coach of the wrestling team, said there is not as big a step between wrestling and cross country as it is between other sports and cross country.
“The wrestlers really can compete with the pure runners because it’s so mental,” Taylor pointed out.
“You have to be half nuts to be good at either of them. Collie was our most winning wrestler last year. He’s our most winning runner this year. It translates better from wrestling to running than maybe baseball to running or something along that line.”
Today’s Western Valley District Preview Meet will be the toughest test thus far for Collie. It will be a step into unknown territory.
“I don’t know what the district meet will be like,” Collie said.
“I know the competition will be pretty tough. I’ll just give it my best and see how it goes.”