Before the 2013-14 school year began, the 122 students who make up the Anderson High School cross country team were already training hard for another successful season—waking up before the sun to work out along the sidewalks surrounding their campus. This year, they have even more ground to cover thanks to the diligence of one team member, junior Morgan Witt.
Last year, Witt noticed the substantial unutilized wooded area behind Anderson could be an ideal space for running. An eagle scout, Witt decided that as part of his service project to the community, he would transform the unused and overgrown area into a nature trail where the team could train.
After gaining approval from his principal and coach, Witt organized a crew of approximately 30 boy scouts, fellow runners and parent volunteers to clear the area and make way for a quarter-mile trail through the woods. The group had their work cut out for them, as they soon realized the area was a popular dumping ground for unwanted bulk trash items like barbeque grills, plastic swimming pools and even old tires. But Witt and his volunteers didn't let that stop them and continued to work tirelessly to clean debris and lay out the trail.
Today, the new trail has broadened the Cross Country team’s training routines.
"Now we are able to involve hill work in a more realistic setting instead of practicing on mainly artificial surfaces like the track and street,” said Richard Sanford, cross country coach at Anderson High School.
The newly cleared trail has benefited more than just the students on the cross country team. Witt says all of the Anderson's athletes have been able to take advantage of the new space.
Congrats to Witt and his 30 volunteers on a job well done.