Nelson and Carlson reflect on CC season

Published 8:31 am Wednesday, November 17, 2010

While their seasons did not end the way they would have liked, the T.R. Miller boys and girls cross country teams accomplished a lot this season.
The girls placed second in the state for the third year in a row and despite not having the boys qualify as a team, runners Christian Carlson and Rob Stokes placed in the top-15 in the state as individuals.
For the girls, freshman Karisa Nelson staked a second straight season as the overall girls 3A state champion.
T.R. Miller cross country coach Rob Atkinson said Nelson’s strong work ethic helped her keep her title.
“Karisa just analyzes her races so well,” Atkinson said. “The way she trains and she pushes herself so hard in training and unlike most athletes, she understands what the training does for her. She understands it makes her run that much faster.
“That is the biggest thing that separates Karisa from a lot of the other athletes that we have here. Not only that, but she pushes the tempo so much in practice that it brings the other runners up. She just does a tremendous job for us and she is wise above her years right now.”
Atkinson said Christian vastly improved all year long.
“Last year he really was not in the picture much as an eighth grader,” Atkinson said. “This year, as a ninth grader, he goes all the way to all state. I am very pleased with him. His potential is almost unlimited. He will definitely be around the 16:00 by the time he is a senior. What he has done this summer and fall will greatly help out our track program.
“We lost Brandon Nelson, Geoff Youngblood and Matt Ray the past three years for our distance runners in outdoor track so it will help for him to come in and help fill that role.” Atkinson said first year runner Rob Stokes has been great all year long as well.
“He works hard and runs with Karisa all the time,” Atkinson said. “He pushes Karisa and has helped make Christian and Karisa a better runner. He has a tremendous attitude and is a good person to have around the program. I am looking forward to him the next few years and he will also help our outdoor track.”
Both Nelson and Carlson said the race Saturday was an overall good experience.
“Well, I may not have run my best race, but I did try,” Karisa said. “It was good though.”
“I think I did as good as I could on this course,” Christian said. “It was a difficult course, but I think it was a good race overall.”
Carlson said that to just to qualify for state was really exciting.
“It was kind of depressing that our team did not qualify, but it was exciting to qualify individually and in the top-15 in the state,” Carlson said. “It is just a feeling of triumph I guess to know that I was able to accomplish this.”
Carlson said he has been running two years now.
“Last year I was really close to qualifying individually, Carlson said. “I was just a couple of seconds off and a couple of places back.”
Karisa began running her seventh grade year on the high school team. She finished second in the state that year with a time of 19:17 and followed up her eighth grade year of 2008 with a first place finish and a time of 18:53. This year as a freshman, Nelson placed first again with a time of 18:41.
“It is really exciting,” Nelson said of another top finish. “I have tried really hard. Determination has been what has got me there.”
Nelson said the three straight second place finishes as a team for the Lady Tigers has not really been disappointing.
‘It has been tiring,” Nelson said. “Like my sister Amber said, I am tired of seeing red (color of the runner-up trophy). I don’t know if I will make a difference next year, but I will push for my PR (personal record).”
Christian said this year he started out running with times of 19:00 but his parents began giving him some work to do around the house and it made him have a feeling to know about hard work.
“Everything I try to do, I try to do as hard as I can,” Carlson said. “All these practices have pushed me and after this race, it showed me that if I keep this rate up I can help the team out more next year.”
Karisa said she was proud of the team this year.
“We may have not got the championship, but we will get it next year,” Nelson said.
“I hope our team qualifies next year,” Carlson said with a chuckle.

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About Adam Robinson

My name is Adam Robinson and I have been the Sports Editor of the Brewton Standard since September 2007. I cover all the local sports in the Brewton area. I am a 2007 graduate of Troy University with a degree in Print Journalism with a contract in Sports Information. I married Shari Lynn in June of 2007 and we welcomed our first child, Hatlee, in April of 2010.

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