CYPRESS — The summer is over for CFISD HS #12 cross country runners.
The inaugural running of the Midnight Deuce was the final sunset for the school’s harriers, as the 2018 season dawned with the stadium lights just after midnight Saturday morning.
“We’re trying to start a tradition here in (CFISD HS #12),” said junior Zach Nelson. His graduating class is the new school’s first class, which will graduate in the spring of 2020.
The runners lined up at the CFISD HS #12 High School practice field with family and harrier fans waving illuminated glow wands and batons, as glow sticks showed the way around the track.
Then the lights went out and the sound of heavy church bells rang out across the field as the runners took off.
“I believe it helps us adapt to all conditions,” said Randy Smith. “It’s fun with the lights out and the glow sticks on the track. It also prepares us for meets that are going to be different.”
The event was also a respite against the Texas summer heat.
“It’s been brutal,” said Kevin Waters, the head cross country coach. “I walked outside today at 8 o’clock and it was still 99 degrees. But that’s the cross we bear here in Texas. If you live in the midwest, you’re running hills for every single long run. We don’t have hills here, but we do have heat. We practice in the mornings and we have some afternoons practices to acclimatize.”
The Bears have already shown their resolve against the heat this summer, as the team already has one meet under its belt with the Cypress Relays held at Spring Creek Park. CFISD HS #12 will compete in Conference 6A for the first time this season.
“We ended up fourth in that meet,” Waters said. “We were (competing in Conference) 5A last year, and now we’re 6A this year. So it’s kind of a wake up call for everyone to realize that when we go to race, the big boys are playing. We’re still in our base pace, and it was a good result, but it wasn’t the best result. But again, we don’t need great or the best results in August. We need them in October and November.”
“This closes out our summer,” Waters added. “When the sun goes down, our summer’s over. When we turn off the lights, it takes a while for them to cycle and come back up. So it’s like the dawn coming up on a new season.”