Senior Alexa Newkirk enjoys going on long runs and says she is ready to help her SoBoCo Eagles girls cross country team defend their conference title.  0825-WEB-EaglesAlexa

The Eagles opened their season Thursday evening at Salisbury.

“I think it will be tougher” to defend the title “but we can do it if we work hard,” Newkirk said.

Newkirk and SoBoCo’s Cassey Poole qualified for state last year and coach Crystal Branch said the two are the team’s best bets to return to state.

Newkirk is no stranger to hard work. The slender, blonde senior put in 35-40 miles of road work per week this summer.

“I do one long 12-mile run each week and several mid-distance runs,” Newkirk said. “I try to work on speed, but I don’t like speed workouts,” she said, just after completing a sprint around City Park. For work on hills to simulate a cross country race, Newkirk runs on Highway DD and Liberty Lane.

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