On Thursday, Nov. 5, CHS sophomore Will Douglas ran to victory in the TSSAA Division I Small Schools Championship for cross country (XC). According to his mom and coach, chiropractor Dr. Amber Douglas, this is something that her bright and motivated son has been working toward for quite some time.
“My main goals for the season were to break 16 minutes in the 5K, and to win the state championship. I accomplished both,” Will said. “Being just a sophomore, I would like to be in contention for two more state titles in my junior and senior years, and I definitely will work toward that goal. Of course, competition only rises, so those titles won’t come easy, but I’m going for two more and do the best I can.”
Will reported that he trains year round, running about 45-50 miles a week during the season, with two speed workouts and a 12-mile run being the staples for the dedicated teen. He is a mentor and motivator for his teammates and younger runners, offering encouragement and tips to any who ask. “Come run with me – I’m always available!” Will noted for any runners interested in upping their game.
“What I would say to younger runners who want to be in the same spot as me is to have faith in the process,” Will said. “I would never have thought I’d be in contention for a state championship even two years ago, but with every extra mile comes an extra level of comfort in what you’re doing. Don’t be afraid to push, because nobody has achieved anything from giving up.”
Following the state meet in Hendersonville, the new state champ and his teammates were welcomed back home with a police escort through town and a reception of cheering supporters waiting for them at the high school. Bobby “Flash” Melton conducted several Facebook interviews on the scene, recording the happy occasion for posterity.
“Today CHS sent their boys and girls teams to the state cross country meet. We are proud of both teams as they represented our school well with several personal record performances. Congratulations to both teams, their coaches, and Will Douglas,” said CHS Vice Principal Dr. Dawn Churchwell. “We are all so excited that new state champion is a Camden Lion, and no one else was close!”