Belfast – During the 2021 Crossroads High School in Belfast Area, four Lion Student-Athletes hurried to qualify for the coveted State Championship – and three did not even attend school.
Meara McVearry, Juniper Fowler and Will Robbins have been educated at home since kindergarten, along with Machiavelli High School and Foller and Robbins Juniors.
And they, along with teammate Westley Dyer, had the opportunity to compete in the State Championships on Saturday, October 30 at their home course – albeit a rainy, slippery, and muddy 3.1 mile track – at Troy Howard Middle School.
Of the 100 runners in the Regional B Championship, McVery finished 41st (22 ፡ 28.06) and Foeller 47 ፡ 22 ፡ 58.99). Robbins finished 21st out of 103 State Class B championship male runners (18 ፡ 17.18).
In fact, the 266 women in the three categories (A, B, and C) who ran the course that day joined the 117th place, followed by Macwerry 117th and Fowler 141st. Robins was 87th in the Class of 320 boys.
Homeschooling presents some obstacles for the runners, who are often drawn to the student-athletic team.
“He had some problems breaking into a new social group because there were so many previous relationships between the runners,” Robins said.
He said he felt a little out of the round, but acknowledged that cross-country coaches Henry Buchard and Joe-Ann Nyale had made him feel welcome.
“I have gained confidence this season and I know my team and my competitors,” Robins said.
“It made me feel like I belonged to this school team, and I also belong to a very large, competitive race community,” he said.
For her part, Foler said during her first cross-country race, she was a little overwhelmed because she did not know many students, and they already met at school.
“I met people after the first season,” she says, “and I felt that it would not matter if I went to school full-time this year.”
“The first few weeks of practice were a little difficult because I didn’t know many people,” McVary said.
MacBerry says she got to know the group quickly, and although she did not meet each other every day at school, she became friends with many of her teammates.
“Running is something I can relate to,” she says. “It is very encouraging to have a team that supports and encourages each other this year.”
Robins said he never realized how strange the concept of home education was to many people, and that there were too many preconceptions about what home schooling should look like.
“A few people were curious about what home schooling was like, and I appreciate that,” he said.
He says that everything he did was eye-opening and made him appreciate homework even more.
As home students, like their peers in local school classes, it was a key to balancing time management and sports.
MacBerry says it takes a lot of self-motivation.
“Sometimes it can be difficult to balance school and other activities,” she said.
She and Foler said that if they found out they had met one day, they would work to make sure their assignments were completed early.
“As long as you manage your time well, there is plenty of time for both sports and school,” said McVeri.
“I think athletics can help me stay focused and improve my schoolwork,” Robins said.
Coaches emphasize that schoolwork comes first.
Robins said he plans to attend his sophomore year of school in person.
In fact, Foller is taking two classes this year in high school.
When it comes to sports, McVarie says this is the first year she has been cross-country, or any other sport, with the school.
As a teenager, Foeller played football with the Waldo County YMCA, and crossed country, and trails and high school began in middle school.
Robins has been involved in sports for years, including swimming, soccer, outdoor track, baseball, horse riding, Nordic skiing and tennis. He played football, swimming and outdoor track Robbins as a Belfast School athlete.
A.D. After a football injury in 2020, he joined a cross country race in a race.
The three players run because they love and have fun, although sometimes they are not completely interested, to get one foot in front of a race on a given day.
“I do not always feel good when I run, but I always feel good after I finish,” says Robinson.
“In general, I’m happier than the days when I did not run,” says McVeri.
MacBerry says she enjoys seeing herself improve in running.
“I started running many years ago, and I still love it. It’s a great way to stay in shape, ”says Foeller.
She added that she can run with her friends, teammates and parents.
Foeller said one of her best moments of the season was a meeting hosted by Camden Hills in Rockport.
“I was feeling really good that day and I had a good race,” she said.
Foeller said she liked finishing the Winjamer course because it was on all weather conditions, which gave her a better chance of running.
“My time was close to personal records, and I won a seventh-place medal,” she said.
Robins praised the Madomak Valley High School competition in Waldorro as an unforgettable time.
“I got a personal and a minute record,” he said.
It was a state championship competition for Machiavelli.
“Before the race, I was a little worried about the mud and the rain, but once I got there, it was great,” she says.
It was the last race of the season, so she put her energy into running.
Even though the course is not going well, I have been able to have a good time. ”
Of the three teams, Foler was the only one to qualify for the state championship before, that is new.
“I was eager to qualify for the states again,” she said. “It was great to go again. It was a great experience.”
Robins and McVarry competed for the first time in state competition this fall.
The runners said they realized they had the talent and work ethic to achieve the goal in the regular season.
“I’m really surprised that I qualified for the state championship,” McVarry said.
She knows it’s possible, but I don’t think her chances are high because it’s her first cross-country year. During the regional championship, in the same course, Coach McVerier told her where she could find her. The top 30 runners in the regional competition are eligible for the states.
“I remember hearing them call our place and think of the Holy Cow, I was shot to qualify,” she said.
Robins took an independent course during the Medomak Valley Championships.
“It was the first time I thought I had the opportunity to create territories,” he said.
Robins said he always wanted to qualify for the state championship, and he looked at the people who qualified.
“So it was fun to do it myself,” he said.
Robins also said that in many ways it is in his best interest to run the Championship on the Belfast home course.
“I know the lesson well, so I know when to accelerate or slow down, when to save energy and when to take energy,” he said.
He said attending the Lions Home course made it easier to see family and friends.
Foller and MacBerry agree that it is worthwhile to attend such a regular course.
“We know the course well,” Foeller said.
“It’s definitely one of my favorite courses. I got it [personal-record] There have been two seasons, but unfortunately not this year, ”she said.
On the day of the contest, she said that she was sorry for the inconvenience.
“The race day course was very muddy but it was very important to know the good places to go to other runners and to know where to go to avoid the mud,” said McVeri.
Towards winter, and then spring, the Lion Trio plans to compete on track and field both indoors and outdoors.
Islesboro, Bangor Christian will take part in the Searsport Basketball Tournament