Daily photo by Gary Cosby Jr.|
In a repeat from last season, Austin's Jennifer Dunn and Decatur's Laurance Thompson won The Daily's cross country runner of the year honors.
The Daily's best
in cross country
Continued effort pays off
for Decatur High's Thompson
By Brooke Milam
email@example.com · 340-2460
Sometimes Decatur High senior Laurance Thompson goes for a run before school. Sometimes he goes for a run after school. And sometimes he does both.
It's what you might expect from one of the area's top cross country runners.
"It takes a lot of time and effort to become a great runner," Thompson said.
And the time and effort have paid off.
The Daily is honoring Thompson as its boys cross country runner of the year for the second straight year.
He placed 22nd individually in the Class 5A state meet in 17 minutes, 21.13 seconds, but he has run a personal best of 16:33.00, which came at the Dew It on the Trails meet in October, earning Thompson the Morgan County championship title.
He also won the Northwest Championship this season, placed fifth at the Chickasaw Trails meet and recorded the fastest time by a Tennessee Valley boys runner at the Jesse Owens Classic, finishing in 16:50.53.
In addition, Thompson has signed a scholarship to run for Alabama-Huntsville, fulfilling a goal that he set long ago.
"Trying to get that scholarship was a big deal to me," Thompson said.
According to Thompson's mother, Laura Chapman, a list of goals hangs on his bedroom wall.
And while Chapman said she's seen her son's desire move from getting a college scholarship to being an asset to UAH's cross country team, his work ethic has remained the same.
"He's always had goals and worked very hard to reach them and get where he wants to be," Chapman said.
A team-oriented runner, Thompson said that it was "a pretty good year" for him individually, but he noted that one of his proudest accomplishments this season was helping the Red Raiders qualify for the state meet as a team, where they placed eighth.
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