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Cross country recap – question and answer

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The KHS cross country season has come to an end, and many of the runners enjoyed their season and the atmosphere of the team. They run to get a break from the school day and do a sporty they enjoy. Here is what a few runners thought about their season. All photos taken by Meg Murphy.

GIRLS’ CROSS COUNTRY RECAPS:


Sarah Hickenbotham

TKC: What was your favorite part of the cross country season?

Hickenbotham: My favorite part was probably finding out that we made it to state. The girls who had run the previous season had hyped [the team] up that there was definitely a possibility we could make it as a team. We all believed that, and when I found out that I was not in the top 30 [at sectionals], I was afraid our season was going to end [and] that we were not going to accomplish that, but we did and it was really fun.  [Also] just knowing that we accomplished our goals and got to go on for another week to go to state. The hours after [finding out], we were hanging out as a team together and [we were] excited and happy.

TKC: Why do you run?

Hickenbotham: I run because it clears your mind after a day of school and the people on the team and the atmosphere that we have on the team is laid back and everybody is really including.

TKC: How long have you been running?

Hickenbotham: I have been running since seventh grade. I joined a cross country team then so I could get in shape so I could do a high school sport.

TKC: What was your season like this year?

Hickenbotham: Really fun and a really good way to start off high school with a bunch of new friends, especially in [a] school where you do not know more than half the people.

 

Hannah Santoni, senior

TKC: What was your favorite part of the season?

Santoni: My favorite memory was the bus ride to Jefferson City because for [the girls cross country team] to go to state was a reward for how hard we worked all season. You could tell that everybody was hyped up for the race, but we also just had a lot of fun with it. All the guys and the girls were on the bus, so we were just playing music and watching the [guys’] ridiculous dancing. Even Baldwin joined in so that was a really fun part for me.

TKC: Why do you run?

Santoni: For me, running started out as a way to get in shape for soccer and then it turned into an outlet for me to relieve my stress and that was like my me time, something I could do by myself. I always want to be in shape because health is something I value a lot, so it turned into something that I really depended on for mental sanity and for my fitness.

TKC: How long have you been running?

Santoni: On a team, I have been running for one year. This was my first year competitively running but I have been running since third grade.

TKC: What was your season like this year?

Santoni: My season was a lot better than I thought it was going to be. Going into the season I had no idea what to expect from myself because I have never run competitively and I ended up surprising myself because I was actually able to compete in races, and I was not sure if that was even going to be something I was good at. I was able to medal in a lot of my races which was unexpected, but I was really happy [about] it.

 

Maya Pritchard, senior

TKC: What was your favorite part of the season?

Pritchard: It is hard to pick one specific part; the end of the season is very bittersweet, so it is not my favorite. The girls and the team all together make it all around a great thing to be apart of. The team got more and more amazing as the season went on and the relationships we built with the girls.

TKC: Why do you run?

Pritchard: A lot of people wonder why [people run] cross country because it looks horrible from afar, but there is something about finishing a race and knowing that you completed something so difficult and you did it alongside of 70 of your closest friends. When you are on the cross country team, you are part of something so much bigger than just running. You do not get a lot of opportunities to give something your all and feel that proud and tired.

TKC: How long have you been running?

Pritchard: [I started running at the] beginning of freshman year,

TKC: What was your season like this year?

Pritchard: Very bittersweet. Being a senior, a captain and being able to go to practice every day was never something that I dreaded. Because it was a fall sport, it was the first of the last for all of the seniors. It was the first thing to really come to a close. Knowing that was coming and knowing that [the seniors] are not going to find this in a year when [we] are in college [was sad].

Girls’ varsity and JV stats:

Jackson Invitational — seniors: 1st sophomores: 1st freshman: 2nd

Webster Groves — varsity: 2nd JV: 1st

Stan Nelson — varsity: 2nd JV: 2nd

Jefferson Barracks Hancock Invitational — varsity: 3rd

Parkway West Invitational — varsity: 2nd

Suburban Conference Championships — varsity: 2nd JV: 3rd

Borgia Invitational — varsity: 1st JV: 1st

Districts — varsity: 4th

Sectionals — varsity: 4th

State Championships — varsity: 10th  

 

State qualifiers:

Hannah Santoni

Catherine Skubiz

Kate Hennessey

Tabby Stowers

Mary Ralston

Meredith Lang

Thora Pearson

Grace Murphy

Abby Dickinson

Sarah Hickenbotham


BOYS CROSS COUNTRY RECAPS



AJ Eckstein, sophomore

TKC: What was your favorite part of the season?
Eckstein: Probably the end of the season because that was when I started to do a lot better and then running at state was a great experience, especially as a sophomore.

TKC: Why do you run?

Eckstein: Last year it was mainly being a part of the team. Now I am starting to enjoy [it] a lot more for what it is. It is nice to be able to compete and say I did this [well] compared to other people.”

TKC: How long have you been running?

Eckstein: Two and a half years.

TKC: What was your season like?

Eckstein: It started off really rough. I was sick [and] everybody on the team was sick [with a bad cold]. At one point it stopped and I started working a lot harder. At one meet I did really [well] and from there I was like ‘I could actually get a lot better if I try a lot harder.’ I started trying really hard, working hard for it and I moved my way up.


AJ Wallach, sophomore

TKC: What was your favorite part of the season?

Wallach: My favorite part was the state meet because we have not gotten the [whole] team to go there in 13 years and it was really fun. We [are able to] compete with the best people [in the state]. I was pretty nervous going into state, I have never run state before and it is a really big competition with [runners] through Class one through four boys and girls. It was really fun being able to brace the fastest people in the state.

TKC: Why do you run?

Wallach: I run because running is fun for whatever reason and the meets are fun. The cross country and track community is really good. There is a vibe [at the cross country meets] that is really exciting and there are a lot of people that come and watch.

TKC: How long have you been running?

Wallach: I have been running since the beginning of my freshman year.

TKC: What was your season like this year?

Wallach: The season was pretty good. This was my first season on varsity and it has been pretty nice and exciting also relieving to know that all of my hard work over the summer and and the past year paid off. It is really exciting to be on varsity because that is what people come to watch and go to state if the team qualifies.


Jacob Ewen, junior

TKC: What was your favorite part of the season?

Ewen: [My favorite part] was going to state as a team for the first time since 2004. [It was my favorite part] because I thought it was pretty cool to be a part of a team that made [going to state] possible.

TKC: Why do you run?
Ewen: I run because I enjoy it, I like the competition. I find it fun. The atmosphere is a great community, recommend anyone to join it, I love cross country.

TKC: How long have you been running?

Ewen: I started halfway through sophomore year.

TKC: What was your season like this year?
Ewen: My season did not end too well. I got injured pretty early in the season [with a tear in my pepoteal tendon], then it went away so I got a few good races in but then [the injury] came back at the end of the season, so I was not able to run at state, which was a bummer. [It was hard] not being able to help my team at state.

 

Boys’ varsity and JV stats:

Jackson Invitational — seniors: 1st  juniors: 1st sophomores: 1st freshman: 2nd

Stan Nelson — varsity: 2nd JV: 1st

Parkway Central Invitational — varsity: 1st  JV: 2nd

Jefferson Barracks Hancock Invitational — varsity: 2nd JV: 1st

Parkway West Invitational — varsity: 3rd JV: 4th

Suburban Conference Championships — varsity: 1st JV: 2nd

Borgia Invitational — varsity: 3rd JV: 2nd

Districts — varsity: 3rd

Sectionals — varsity: 3rd

State Championships– varsity: 8th

 

State qualifiers:

Christian Baker

Martin Strong

Jacob White

Jacob Ewen

AJ Wallach

David Decker

Finn Sinner

AJ Eckstein

Kaleb Owens

Atticus Butte

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Cross country recap – question and answer