Evart senior runner eyes championship season

EVART — Santana Scott ended his 2014 cross country season in memorable fashion.

He wouldn’t mind doing that in 2015.

Scott is a senior and the No. 1 runner for the Evart Wildcats, who were the Division 4 state runners-up a year ago. He and the Wildcats recently made their home debut at Spring Hill Camp and Scott took medalist honors.

“It was OK,” Scott said. “It’s a fun, pretty course.”

Scott had previously run on a slow course at Hesperia and also in a two-mile race. On Sept. 12 at Bullock Creek, he was third in 16:47.6.

The Wildcats have a home invitational on Sept. 26.

“As a team, we want to win conference and be top five at state,” Scott said. “That would be pretty awesome.”

Scott is confident the Wildcats have the runners to meet those goals.

“We have the top three guys and a whole bunch of upcoming freshmen, and can have a really solid top five,” Scott said.

As an individual runner, Scott is hoping to win the Highland Conference.

“I want to win regionals and maybe win state,” he said. “I have not won regionals before. I’ve always been second or third. I was second at the state meet, to a different guy.”

His career has been 15:54 at the 2014 state meet. By the time this season ends he wants to be in the 15s again.

Scott acknowledged that his preseason preparation “was a little stronger. I had a little harder workouts than in other years.”

Like other runners, he’s waiting for cooler weather, not to mention the return of Highland Conference competition and appearances on competitive courses.

“My second mile is doing better,” Scott said. “I still need to work on the third mile, maybe slow down on the first mile just a few seconds so I have a little energy for the second.”

His runner-up performance at the 2014 state finals has given Scott confidence and incentive to go one step farther this year.

“If I can do that (in 2014), I might as well win state and go faster,” Scott said.