Some of Lee County's best cross-country runners are taking the state track and field meets by storm this weekend.
For some reason, I'm just better at track, said Cypress Lake High senior Trent Craig who will compete as the top preliminary seed in the 3,200 meters at the Class 2A meet in Winter Park on Saturday.
Having everyone around you, cheering you on - that's cool.
With the 2A meet Saturday and the Class A competition today, Craig and other area distance runners have been scarfing down carbs and tapering their workouts in preparation for their final races of the school year.
Circling a track over and over and over again might seem boring compared to racing through the hills and grassy-sandy terrains of cross country, but area harriers say: Not so.
Running for a lot of people isn't exciting, but it's what I do, what I love, Estero sophomore Kacy Smith said.
Running in circles: Left turn, left turn, left turn - I enjoy it. I'm weird like that.
Smith, Craig and Canterbury freshman Emily Edwards are among the top-seeded runners in their events going into today's and Saturday's meets.
Edwards, who is seeded second in the 800 and first in the 1,600 at today's Class A meet, said she would never have discovered her biggest running strengths were it for for participating in track.
I used to be really into cross country, but I've learned that I'm actually better at shorter distances, said Edwards who skipped the 3,200 this postseason to focus on her other two events.
I started doing the 800 last year and I just grew to like it more and more.
Track seems to offer these athletes something they can't get in cross country - constant motivation from coaches, spectators and teammates alike.
I see (Panthers coach Rob) Strong like every lap in track, Craig said.
He's always right there yelling at me, telling me to keep pushing it.
Smith and Edwards agreed.
According to them, one of the toughest things about cross country is finding internal motivation when they are on the back kilometers of the courses with no coaches and, in some cases, no other runners in sig