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 Monday, Sept. 1, the 244th day of 2014. There are 121 days left in the year.
1864 -- 150 years ago: We are informed by J.H. Hull that the reason the street sprinkler was not at work yesterday settling the dust on the streets, was because one of his horses was injured. 1889 -- 125 years ago: Bonnie McGregor, a fleet-footed stallion owned by S.W. Wheelock of this community, covered himself with glory at Lexington, Ky, when he ran a mile in 2:13 1/2. The horse's value was estimated as at least $50,000. 1914 -- 100 years ago: Troops are pouring into Paris to prepare for defense of the city. The German army is reported to be only 60 miles from the capital of France. 1939 -- 75 years ago: The German army has invaded Poland in undeclared warfare. Poland has appealed to Great Britain and France for aid. 1964 -- 50 years ago: Publication of a plant newspaper, the Farmall Works News, has been launched at the Rock Island IHC factory and replaces a managerial newsletter. 1989 -- 25 years ago: Officials predict Monday's Rock Island Labor Parade will be the biggest and best ever. Last minute work continues on floats and costumes for the parade, which steps off a 9:30 a.m.