- Step by step, meter by meter, Bridger Flory has put an old injury behind him and moved toward the finish line ahead of him.
"It's incredible," Flory said. "It kind of feels unreal."
Flory bounced back from a fractured ankle his junior year to finish fourth in the Division Two sectional, earning him an invitation to the state meet in Wisconsin Rapids.
"This definitely means a lot to him," teammate Jake Losch said. "He's been working very hard throughout the season at practice. I've experienced it firsthand."
Running isn't Flory's only interest. He also enjoys mountain biking, which has helped his performance on the cross country course.
"I think biking has helped me with my cardio and leg strength," Flory said.
"The bike team has really been a great cross-train for him and I've noticed that its really helped him overall," head coach M.J. Laggis said.
Flory has also benefitted from seeing former top runners Markus Johnson and Alayna Fransen race.
"Going to state with (Alayna) and Markus and just watching her run at state has been like a huge inspiration for me to get there," Flory said.
Now Flory has the chance to make his own mark on the Rhinelander cross country record book.
"I'm privileged and lucky that I've been around that kid the last four years," Laggis said.
Flory says he hopes to place in the top 50 at the meet, which would have him finishing ahead of roughly two-thirds of all other runners in Division Two.
|Story By: Andrew Goldstein