Manila runner recognized for Cross Country
Connor Jackson, a freshman at Manila High School, was recognized for being named All State in Cross Country.
Connor had no idea when he arrived at school on Tuesday morning he was going to be the honoree at an assembly. The auditorium was filled with students and teachers as Connor received a framed certificate and a state ring.
Connor finished in the top 10 percent (fourth overall) in the state cross country meet. He moved up to the senior high team after finishing his junior high season. The state meet was his first senior high competition.
Tim Bassing, retired Manila teacher/coach, started the cross country team several years ago. He was the guest speaker offering congratulations to Connor.
“Anytime a teacher or coach starts something, it is done for the kids,” Bassing said. “That is how cross country got started five or six years ago. There is nothing that makes a teacher more proud than to see students take something new and run with it making it greater than our expectations.
“Deep in our hearts our students belong to us. You (students at Manila) have school teachers who genuinely love you and care for you. I encourage you to achieve in high school and go on to achieve in life. Manila High School is a special place with special teachers. In cross country, as well as other sports, you will find love and support.”
On Nov. 3 Manila High school had the first ever senior high cross country boys and girls full teams to compete at state held in Hot Springs.
Bassing said Connor is a special athlete with discipline, class and drive.
“He loves to outrun others,” Bassing said. "He came in fourth in state and made All State. If he can find four other people who will run with him they will be bringing home a state trophy. As a freshman he finished in 17 minutes and 45 seconds."
Coaches Mary Smith and Amy Pryor were on hand to celebrate with Connor.
Connor can add to his accomplishments being the fourth finisher in this year's Sylamore 25K, a premier trail run with runners from all over the United States participating. The Sylamore 25K (near Mountain View) sells out within 20 minutes. The event was held Saturday, Feb. 17.
Connor, the son of Jeremy and Jennifer Jackson, enjoys the challenge of running and is looking forward to next season.