Cross Country Starts Season with Improved Finishes

Sophomores Frank McMillin and Justin Bartley, juniors Jesse Stantorf, John Hardgrave, Michael Kephart, and Johnathan Plybon, sophomore Ethan Paxton, and freshman Dallas Larsen start their race in Stover. The boys varsity team placed first.

Makayla Mais, Staff Writer

Having placed second in the first Cross Country meet of the season, along with a first place finish from the girls and boys varsity teams at Stover, the second-year WHS team seems to be improving.

“It seems awful while training but come race time, we’re glad we trained hard,”Junior Michael Kephart said.

“Everyone is getting better,” Senior Jessica Kuykendall said.

“We are all working hard and improving. Most of us from last year have placed higher and improved our time.” Sophomore Ashlee Kuykendall feels she has built endurance,

Cross Country is still a new sport to Warsaw High, but the word has gotten around to make the group come to a larger number of 15 runners. The course may vary, but they run a 5k, which is 3.1 miles.

“They are pushing through it.” Kuykendall said. “It’s not easy being new to a tough sport like cross country, but no one has given up.”

Cross Country differs from track, because instead of incorporating field sports, this sport focuses on running. In addition to the running, why Cross Country members must have good physical and mental health.

The team had their first meet in El Dorado on Sept. 20.  Gerard Porter placed thirteenth. Also, the new girls team placed second.

The team had their second meet in Stover on Oct 8. where the the girls varsity girls team placed first. Allison Porter placed first, Jessica Kuykendall placed second, Ashlee Kuykendall placed fourth, Rickie Branson placed fifth, Ashlyn Yoder placed sixth, and Mikayla Andrews placed tenth. The boys varsity team placed first. Dallas Larsen placed second, Johnathan Plybon placed seventh, Michael Kephart placed eighth, Jesse Stantorf placed ninth, and John Hardgrave placed tenth.

Changes in practices have helped the team prepare for upcoming meets.

“This season we have done more hills in practice,” Kephart said.  Coach Ehren Banfield has noticed changes from last year, and has great expectations for this season.

“I got my numbers up, and I have a full team of girls.” Banfield said. “The season started off really good, and placed really well. I have higher hopes for this year than last year. I’m watching them at practice, and still seeing improvement.”

Banfield has a lot of hope for the team this year. Even though this is still a new team, but they have the potential to go far.