Monmouth-Roseville senior runner Devin Clark was determined to be his very best.
Before Clark had his driver's license, he rode his bike the 15 miles to the Titans' summer practices in Roseville to make sure that he continued to improve.
"I wouldn't ride fast," Clark said, "but I could feel it in my legs during runs. It was worth it."
All that effort earned the senior All-State honors with a 17th-place finish (15:19) at the Class 1A state meet, plus one more accolade -- being named The Dispatch and The Rock Island Argus Area Boys' Runner of the Year.
What surprised you most about this season? "The amount of time that I dropped from sectionals to state. I had a 26-second drop from sectionals to state to run 15:19. My goal time was 15:30, so running that time was pretty exciting considering I finished 17th and earned All-State."
If you could restart your cross country career from the beginning, what would you change? "I think I would try to get more people involved. Cross country is a great thing to have in your life because it teaches you a lot. I'd enjoy passing that along to other people."
What was the moment that you will never forget? "This season's state meet. I think I'll remember that forever. The feeling of crossing the finish line and knowing that all the years of work payed off."
What is it about cross country that you enjoy? "I enjoy running itself. To be able to do it with friends and develop relationships along the way. Then to run against some of the best in the area at the state is satisfying."
What's a moment with your teammates that you will never forget? "We had some runners that stopped to bury a dead turtle. They were able to keep it pretty low profile for a while, but when the coach found out, we had a lot of fun with it."
Today is Thursday, April 17, the 107th day of 2014. There are 258 days left in the year.
1864 -- 150 years ago: Journeymen shoemakers of Rock Island struck for higher wages yesterday morning, asking 25 percent increases. Employers have acceded to their demand. 1889 -- 125 years ago: Lighting struck wires of the Merchants Electric Light Co. during a furious storm, and many Rock Island business houses were compelled to resort to gas as a means of illumination. 1914 -- 100 years ago: Members of the First Church of Christ, Scientist, decided to erect a new edifice at a cost of about $60,000. 1939 -- 75 years ago: Willard Anderson, junior forward for the Augustana College basketball team, which won 17 out of 22 contests, was elected captain of the quintet. 1964 -- 50 years ago: John Hoffman, Moline, president of the Sac-Fox Council of Boy Scouts, will be honored for his 50 years in scouting by members of the council at a dinner Thursday evening. 1989 -- 25 years ago: The Quad-Cities has what is believed to be the area's first elite-class gymnast. It's the stuff upon which Olympic competitors are made. Tiffany Chapman, of Rock Island, not only has earned the highest possible gymnast ranking, she won the honor at age 11.