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'Exemplary work ethic' highlights month-long XC camp

 Middle School runners at Cross Country Camp
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Scattered in small pockets, approximately 80 high school and middle school athletes welcomed the last week of the month-long Broken Arrow Cross Country Camp by completing their longest sustained run on Monday.

After running the entirety of the home course at Oneta Ridge Middle School for the first time this summer, the final week of training continues with the same format as prior weeks. Tuesday is swimming at the BA Golf and Athletic Club pool for “mental confidence and a different way to train,” varsity cross country coach Shane Messigner said. “It’s really effective.” Two days of “intense speed work” and “hills, hills, and more hills” wrap up the camp at Ray Harrell Nature Park and the Creek Turnpike Trail on Wednesday and Thursday, respectively.

Messinger is pleased with the number of runners and their dedication to the 6:30 a.m. start time. There is a correlation between having a large group of athletes and the willingness to work out every day.

“If you have more to train with, then there will be more people of similar ability,” the coach said. “There is someone for you to push yourself with. If I know I have someone I enjoy socially and that person is close to my same physical ability then the more I will enjoy running. And, the more I enjoy it the better I get.”

Tiger Cross Country opens the season Aug. 30 at Tahlequah. Messinger and his team will host the Broken Arrow Invitational on Sept. 8 at the Oneta Ridge course.

“Our theme for this year is ‘Expectations,’” Messinger said. “We’re going to expect more than we have before. Our kids have shown a whole lot of positivity and an exemplary work ethic.”