Top 10 Fall Sports Moments: #3 Cedar Ridge’s Ian Elliott Wins 2nd Straight Big 8 Conference Cross County Championship

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Updated: January 12, 2017

You can do a lot in a lifetime
If you don’t burn out too fast
You can make the most of the distance
First you need endurance
First you’ve got to last

–Neal Peart

Ironically, despite winning back-to-back Big 8 Cross Country Individual Championships, Ian Elliott doesn’t think he’s a marathon runner.

“I’m bigger than most runners,” said Elliott. “I figure I’m more of a track runner. Cross country is pushing it.”

The mental hurdles that may keep Elliott from running further didn’t factor into his final cross country season at Cedar Ridge, even when it should have. The Big 8 Confernece Championship meet at Chapel Hill High School was run in 89-degree temperatures on October 19.

Despite the unseasonably warm weather, Elliott finished with a time of 16:42.08, eight seconds better than Chapel Hill’s Ryan Combs to win his 2nd consecutive Big 8 Championship. In fact, Elliott was the only non-Chapel Hill runner in the top 10.

“It was a lot grittier this year,” said Elliott. “Mainly because of the weather. But I also feel I’m good in heat. I put in fairly hard miles in heat during the summer. Although I knew it feel awful. But that’s running.”

The heat is something Elliott relished during his stint at Cedar Ridge. He went on to finish 7th at the MidEast Regionals at Northwood High a week later. He finished 26th in the state meet, when the traditional fall weather had finally settled in.

“I think some people are just better in the heat and some aren’t,” said Elliott. “I’m not as good in the cold, even though I practice a lot in the cold and the rain. I never perform well in the rain.”

“You just have to be gritty. It doesn’t have to be a pretty race as long as I do well.”

Elliott has already started his indoor track season, recently finishing 15th in the 1500 meters in the NC Runners Holiday Invitatational at JDL Fast Track in Winston-Salem.

After Elliott finishes the upcoming spring outdoor track season, he plans to hang up his sneakers, leaving as the most accomplished cross country runner in Cedar Ridge history.

“I’m not looking to run competitively in college,” said Elliott. “I’d love to stay in shape and run for a club. Maybe run a Fun Run 5K. Maybe take one hard every now and then. But after this track season, I think I’ll be done with competitive running.”

 

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