(FESTUS) After three years of coming close to a state title, Festus cross country runner Max McDaniel finally got his moment of glory. In his senior season, Max finished 1st at state by 13 seconds over the 2nd place runner, a position Max finished in as a junior.

Max battled adversity this season, but ultimately got what he wanted.

Max says that day after day, coach Bryant Wright reminded him and his teammates of previous state champions and their work ethic, conversations that Max took to heart.

Max adds that “lots of prayer” has helped him succeed.

Max has signed on to continue his cross country career at Bradley University in Peoria, Illinois. He says that the team there is quite comparable to that of his Tigers team.

To add to his storied career, Max was named the Parkland Health Mart Pharmacy Athlete of the Week after his state-winning moment, was crowned by area coaches as the Regional Radio Dream Team Runner of the Year for the 2nd time, and also led the Festus cross country team to its 5th consecutive state championship.

Watch Max McDaniel’s Runner of the Year interview here.