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 Thursday, April 24, the 114th day of 2014. There are 251 days left in the year.
1864 -- 150 years ago: We learn that it is a contemplation to start a paper mill in Rock Island during the summer by a gentleman from the East. 1889 -- 125 years ago: The gates of Oklahoma were swung open at noon today, and a throng of more than 30,000 settlers started over its soil. 1914 -- 100 years ago: The Iowa Coliseum Co. was incorporated with $40,000 capital and planned a building on 4th Street between Warren and Green streets in Davenport. 1939 -- 75 years ago: Plans are being discussed for resurfacing the streets in the entire downtown district of Rock Island. 1964 -- 50 years ago: Some 45 jobs will be created at J.I. Case Co.'s Rock Island plant in a expansion of operations announced yesterday afternoon at the firm's headquarters in Racine, Wis. 1989 -- 25 years ago: Gardeners and farmers cheered, but not all Quad-Citians found joy Saturday as more than an inch of rain fell on the area. Motorists faced dangerous, rain-slick roads as the water activated grease and grime that had built up during dry weather.