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 Friday, Dec. 13, the 347th day of 2013. There are 18 days left in the year. 1863 -- 150 years ago: Merry sleigh bells jingle in our streets in the wake of a driving northwest storm of snow and rain. 1888 -- 125 years ago: Thomas Campbell was elected commander of John Buford Post 243, Grand Army of the Republic. 1913 -- 100 years ago: Thomas B. Reidy was named consul of C.W. Hawes Camp No. 1550, and L.H. Eihl was named consul of Camp 29, Modern Woodmen of America. 1938 -- 75 years ago: Rock Island aldermen last night upheld the view of a petition signed by 150 businessmen that the city should not install parking meters. 1963 -- 50 years ago: Total volume during the Christmas mailing season may reach 12 million pieces in Rock Island, according to Rock Island Postmaster Carl J.L. Wessel. 1988 -- 25 years ago: The aromas filling the air at the Rock Island Lines depot in Rock Island soon will be prime rib and roast duck rather than sawdust and plaster. A tourist train will be offering dinner excursions in mid-February or early March, according to Dan Carmody, executive director of the Development Association of Rock Island.