Cross country coach Mike Blackmore awarded sophomores Kendall Maslen and Carlos Camacho the 2015 Titan Character Award, which demonstrated high integrity and persistence on the trail as well as in the classroom.
Maslen attended high school in Glennallen, Arkansas, where she stood out as a distance and relay runner and earned all-state honors playing for an amateur basketball team. She is also a talented volleyball player and represents the Titans in track and field.
Comacho went to high school in his hometown of Newport, Oregon. “He’s a treasure,” Blackmore said of Carlos, also a member of Lane’s track and field team. “[On his own time] he works out in 50 mile per hour winds in Newport.”
Also recognized for their outstanding contribution to the team were sophomores Danielle Girard and Madison Schell and freshman Elmer Shelvey.
“I’m more of an 1800 or 1500 runner so cross country usually stretches my legs a little further than I’m used to,” Girard said. She was also recognized as Northwest Athletic Conference athlete of the week this season.
Schell showed vast improvement day to day and became a breakout star. She was the top Titan finisher at the NWAC Championship where she finished fifth overall. Schell, a member of Lane’s track and field team, plans on continuing her running career after graduating from Lane. “Without them we’re sunk,” Blackmore said of this year’s sophomore runners. “Our women’s team was composed of four 800M runners, a heptathlete and a 100M hurdler, but they got it done this year.”
The Titans reached the Regional Championships this season with a women’s team that turned out to be a diamond in the rough and a men’s team composed of mostly freshmen. “Elmer walked up to the rock at Amazon Trail one day while we were working out and asked if he could try out,” Blackmore said. “He ended up being our number one guy.”
Shelvey finished the NWAC Championship race ninth overall and has high hopes for his running future. “The moment I wake up on race day I get into a routine,” Shelvey said. “In the hours before the race I like to eat peaches and toast and drink tea and water to stay hydrated. Then, I just stay relaxed and focused on the race. Once the gun goes off I’m like, ‘let’s see what you got.’”
Shelvey is set on returning to Titan’s cross country team for the 2016 season. In the meantime he says he is committed to becoming better by continuing to train hard and eating right. “I like how [Lane] is back here in the mountains. It helps me focus at a high level,” Shelvey said. “Next season, I want to go for that championship.”