Young, talented distance runners boost girls’ track in Stover’s absence

800×600 Normal 0 false false false EN-US X-NONE X-NONE MicrosoftInternetExplorer4 st1:*{behavior:url(#ieooui) } /* Style Definitions */ table.MsoNormalTable {mso-style-name:"Table Normal"; mso-tstyle-rowband-size:0; mso-tstyle-colband-size:0; mso-style-noshow:yes; mso-style-priority:99; mso-style-parent:""; mso-padding-alt:0in 5.4pt 0in 5.4pt; mso-para-margin:0in; mso-para-margin-bottom:.0001pt; mso-pagination:widow-orphan; font-size:10.0pt; font-family:"Times New Roman","serif";} To have a successful season, a team needs veterans, right? Well, Bearden’s girls’ distance runners sure hope not. They have one upperclassman of any type, Alabama signee Rebecca Stover. And as of the MRI results she got back on Monday, they won’t even have her this season. Stover told The Bark on Monday that the MRI showed a severe stress fracture in her foot and that she will miss the rest of the season. With Stover off to college soon anyways, the girls know they have to use this season to build their future. “We have a lot of potential because we have so many (sophomores) and we basically make up the whole team,” sophomore Alisa Harvey said. “So we’re only getting better.” And while the sophomores truly do “basically make up the whole team” (all but two of the distance girls), Bearden track is also building the future of its girls’ distance team on the legs of freshman Sarah Crowley. “She is really hard core,” Harvey said. “She doesn’t think that much about it; she just goes out and does it because she likes to run.” And while Crowley looks to be the future of the program, she is also on the team to produce this year; because, just like the goal of any team ever, the goal this year is to win this year. “She hasn’t run the 3200 (meter race) since middle school, and she has gotten just three seconds behind what I was a couple of weeks ago,” Harvey said. “She’s a lot better than I am because as a freshman she’s as good as, and sometimes better than, I am now. She has a lot going for her, and she’ll probably carry us a lot during regionals.” As Crowley has precious little experience, she is making strides and lowering her times by looking to her teammates. She does, after all, have one that is pretty good. “She’s taken 30 seconds off her 3200 time alone,” distance coach Steve Prince said. “For one, she’s running with one of the best runners to ever come out of Knoxville, she’s running with Rebecca Stover. But her and Alisa Harvey are just… the better Alisa gets, the better Sarah gets, and Alisa is way better than she was last year. So Sarah has come under her wing and gone along with her.” Crowley is more than content to learn from one of the best runners Bearden has ever produced, but she also has bonded extremely well with the sophomore leaders of the team who went through what she is currently going through just one year ago. “Me and Tru Powell and Alisa Harvey… we push each other harder than anyone else could push us,” Crowley said. “They are both more experienced than me, and they’re both my role models on and off the team. So they’re kind of my inspiration to get better.” And while Crowley still has a long way to go as a runner, she certainly has the natural ability and runner’s mentality that it takes to win. “She just keeps on going,” Harvey said. “She went to Bearden Middle and I went to West Valley and we were running this race one time, and I just remember her passing me. And she had the most peaceful look on her face. And I was like, ‘How is she doing that?’” Jacob Steimer is the sports editor for The Bark. Follow The Bark on Twitter @BeardenBARK, and like The Bark (Bearden High School) on Facebook.