More than a medal

Cross Country runners find success through pushing themselves


Autumn Rhea

Sophomore Mason Knox runs the course at Stockton on September 20th. This is his first year in cross country.

Not a lot of people would run 3.1 miles for fun, but five boys and seven girls not only enjoy it, they are bringing home medals for WHS.

Cross Country has been an option for student athletes for four years now and runners are finding success on the courses.

   As a team, the girls placed first at Smith Cotton and second at Stockton. Senior Ashlee Kuykendall earned first place at both the Smith Cotton and Stockton races this season.

     Last year, Kuykendall earned a medal for every meet she ran in and she placed 22nd at state. This year she would like to do the same thing. Junior Dallas Larsen agrees. He placed 25th at state.

  “Honestly, I would like to medal at every track, cross-country, and wrestling competition again this year but I don’t want to do it for the medal,” Larsen said.

  He does it to try to beat his personal goal and try to get faster and faster at every meet he runs.

 Running with Larsen helps Kuykendall push herself, she said. Kuykendall runs every day, even when school is not in session. She runs between seasons so she can keep up for the next season.

 The boys team came in fourth at Smith Cotton and eighth at Stockton. Junior Dallas Larsen won second place at Smith Cotton and third at Stockton.

  The cross country team has undergone some changes this season with not only new runners, but a new coach as well.

Math teacher Brian Hrabe is the new cross country coach this year. The school was in need of a new coach after the resignation of Eryn Banfield. Rhabe also ran cross country when he was in high school.

  Sophomore Mason Knox is new to cross country this year and has discovered that it is not for the weak. Knox runs six miles every day. He has run one meet this year and he said it was nothing like he expected because the heat index was over one hundred degrees. It was also harder for him because it was mainly uphill.

  Since there is a new coach this year they have new changes this year. Larsen says that there have been changes in practice and how they focus.

  “This year, I am closer to my team than the previous years, and I am really going to miss it when when this season is over,” Kuykendall said.

  There are three seniors in Cross Country: Ashlee Kuykendall, Bailey Sharp, and Frank McMillin. Kuykendall has been involved in cross country for three years.

  The cross country team has done better than expected. The cross country team has had four meets. They have traveled to Bolivar, Smith Cotton, Stockton, and Hermitage.

  The boys that are on the varsity team are Dallas Larsen, Maleek Porter, Jacob Rider, Chance Thirstrup, and Scott Winters. The girls that are on the Varsity team are Mikayla Andrews, Hannah Chapman, Ashlee Kuykendall, Autumn Long, Kathryn Ricke, Autumn Rhea, and Bailey Sharp.

  This year the cross country team is hoping that they improve their times this year at upcoming runs at Camdenton and Stover in early October. Conference is Oct. 13 and district competition will be Oct. 29.