Boys’ Cross Country Set to Keep Improving


As one of the best runners on the team, Colin Ring powers past the competition as he leads the team to victory at the 2019 Hancock Invitational.

The future is bright for the boys’ cross country team. Of the top seven runners from last year at state, six of them are returning sophomores and juniors. In the coming season, the team will only get better.

We have a lot of potential to build on what our 11 runners started last year by placing second at districts and competing well at state. And not only that, but we also have six new runners. As Coach Heefner mentioned, the team has added many new runners. With the addition of these new strong runners, the team will be even better. A majority of these rookies are freshmen, but one junior, Thomas Gorline, will be a huge contributor to the team right off the bat.

Gorline described what it has been like to be a part of this squad: “Since I joined the team, I feel my skill and endurance have only increased. I am excited for the coming season because we have an amazing team built out of new additions such as myself and returning runners who have only gotten better.”

The cross country boys thrive off of teamwork and leadership. The team is always encouraging each other as they train year-round. This winning culture has continued to be passed down from the older runners to the younger ever since the team placed 3rd at state in 2014. One of the top runners on the team, Colin Ring, described the culture: “There is a very cool dynamic on the cross country team this year because there are a lot of Juniors and a lot of freshmen. As a junior myself, I think it will be an awesome experience for all the other juniors, and I get to go from a learning role last year under 2019 graduate Matthias Jowdy to now taking on more of a leadership role among the team. Hopefully, through our leadership we will be able to support the younger guys and make their cross country experience positive.”

In addition to a strong team dynamic, the boys are all in on the process of pursuing daily excellence in running. This includes training hard every day, focusing on sleep, hydration, and eating healthy. The team gains their confidence in meets by their daily preparation and hard work.

For example, Hayden Turley, another top runner on the team, explained what his goals were for the upcoming season: “I want to apply the eating, sleeping, workout, and stretching habits of experienced runners in order to keep improving. I am going to make an honest effort to make sure my body is at its prime to prepare me for the coming races this season.”

Because of their intense training, the team has dealt with some disappointing injuries. For boys that are putting in lots of miles while they are still growing, it can be hard to avoid these injuries. One of the top runners on the team last season, junior Caleb Moellenhoff, came down with hamstring tendonitis and an avulsion tear last year during basketball season.

When he recalled his difficulties with the injury, he said, “After not really understanding what was going on for about six months, I finally got an MRI in June. I took off from all activities for the rest of the summer, and now I am going to physical therapy in hope that I will be ready to run again before the end of the season. It really stinks, but it has taught me how much I enjoy running.”

In the same way, junior Hunter Freiner, came down with hamstring tendonitis last year near the end of the cross country season. He was able to rest and heal over the wintertime, and ended up improving a lot during the spring track season.

“I’m excited to get into cross country this year and have a new start, and I have been training a lot this some, so hopefully I won’t have any more injuries, and hopefully we are state bound!” he said.

Ultimately, boys’ cross country has the potential to keep improving this season and the next, but they’ll have to avoid injuries to do it.