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 Sunday, Dec. 8, the 342nd day of 2013. There are 23 days left in the year. 1863 -- 150 years ago: For the whole of last week we have been favored with the most delightful Indian summer weather, and mercury ranging from 40 to 65 above zero. The river is entirely clear of ice and looks as mild and soft as summer. 1888 -- 125 years ago: Albert Johnson was appointed a deputy in the circuit clerk's office. 1913 -- 100 years ago: 800 or more tons of earth in six landslides covered 38th Street for a distance of 200 feet near 7th Avenue and destroyed much property. 1938 -- 75 years ago: One of the 350-foot towers, which with a new transmitter will increase the power of WHBF to 1,000 watts day and night, has been completed on a 20-acre tract at 23rd Avenue and 51st Street, Moline. 1963 -- 50 years ago: In cooperation with The Associated Press, The Argus presents to its readers a complete, beginning-to-end account of one of the most tragic and dreadful chapters in American history, the assassination of President Kennedy, available in book form, and now in preparation. The book is entitled "The Torch is Passed." 1988 -- 25 years ago: Deere & Co. stockholders received good news of a boost in their quarterly dividends from 20 to 30 cents per share of common stock. The dividend, made to stockholders of record on Dec. 30, will be payable on Feb. 1, 1989.