Ben Stoner and Tim Hawkins started planning for the fall cross country season not long after school let out for summer break.
"They ran between 500 and 600 miles over the summer," said Russ Busbee, the coach of the South Aiken High School cross country team.
Mr. Busbee depended on the two seniors during the season. Tim finished second at the Region 5-AAA meet at Dreher on Oct. 23, and Ben finished 13th.
"These are my two captains," he said.
Tim and Ben are longtime members of the Thoroughbreds cross country and track teams. Tim started with the team when he was in seventh grade.
"I love it," he said of running.
Ben played basketball when he was younger but switched to running. The friends said they enjoyed running almost every day over the summer to prepare for their senior year.
"Running lets me relax," said Ben, who likes to run with friends. "I like talking with my friends. It's fun."
They will continue to run over the winter in preparation for the spring track and field season. They tend to concentrate on the longer distances.
Tim and Ben run the 2-mile and 1-mile events. Ben also runs in the 4-by-800-meter relay. Both seniors are considering their college choices.
"I'd love to run in college. It depends on where I go," Ben said.
Reach Charmain Brackett at firstname.lastname@example.org.
ATHLETES OF THE MONTH
ATHLETES: Ben Stoner and Tim Hawkins
SCHOOL: South Aiken High School
SPORTS: Track and cross country
NOMINATOR'S COMMENTS: Coach Russ Busbee calls the two athletes determined leaders.
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