FIRTH – When your first name is Strider and you have track and field in your family history, it is only fitting that you are a star in the making in cross country and probably track and field down the road.
That is the case with Strider Perry of Firth, a young freshman who has burst on the scene this fall in cross country.
Each and every meet, I find myself looking for his name in the standings of the most recent cross country meet just to see how he fared. He is there, always the third, fourth, or fifth runner for Firth High School and always pressuring the junior and seniors ahead of him as he improves.
In the recent Bob Conley Invitational, one of the most prestigious cross country meets in the Northwest, Perry finished in 84th position overall out of 200 runners, good enough for third place on his own team which is very important. Only the top five finishers on each team earn points towards the team’s overall score.
Strider Perry is not just a one-sport athlete either, he plays baseball and runs track in the spring and is already being counted upon to be part of the baseball team at Firth High School. He isn’t sure if he will try and do both track and baseball, but why not? With his ability to run, especially the longer races like the 800, 1600 and 3200, he would be a natural for track in those events and if he is half as good at baseball as he has been at cross country, he seems a natural there as well.
Like most ninth-graders, he doesn’t mind school and actually enjoys math which is a good thing for a runner as they have to work out things like splits while they are running.
Strider comes by his running talent naturally, as his dad was a collegiate runner. If Strider ever grows into the shoes of his dad, then he will be a big man with a long stride and that will only make him a more formidable runner down the road.
One thing is for sure, Strider Perry is already a good athlete who only seems to be getting better and better. As he actually learns how to run the different races he participates in and the different sports he wants to compete in, the better he will get.
For now, he is a force to be reckoned with on his own cross country team and he will get better with the great work ethic that he has. It will only be a matter of time before he will be catching the junior and senior ahead of him and claiming their spot on the Firth cross country team.