The boys cross country team placed 11th on Oct. 31 in the 2A State championship race, which took place in Wamego, Kan. This is the 17th consecutive year that the boys team has competed at State.
The team had six runners compete in the race at the Wamego Country Club. The course was one of the hardest of the year, holding many long switchbacks and gigantic hills. The team was led by freshman Cooper Rovenstine with his 26th place finish. Rovenstine was followed by junior Jackson Vander Ark at 48th and senior Peter Beikmann at 61st. Sophomore Kyle Sykes and freshman Drew Birnbaum placed 91st and 95th, and junior Joel Connealy followed with a 100th place finish.
“It was a really hard course, but I ran one of my better races of the year,” Cooper Rovenstine said. “I felt terrible after I finished, but I was extremely proud.”
But, not all from this run was beneficial. Lead runner, junior Luke Rovenstine, was disqualified because he was assisted during the race. Rovenstine began to cramp up and eventually fainted. He ended up completing the race, but needed medical assistance after his finish. Rovenstine recovered quickly and will be ready to compete his final year.
“I couldn’t stand up and started to lose vision… basically I worked myself so hard that my heart couldn’t supply the rest of my body with enough blood,” Rovenstine said. “It happens to every good runner and I have come to peace with it, but I am still bummed.”
Only one runner will graduate from this year’s State team, meaning next year’s team should run extremely well.
“I am feeling good about next year’s team,” Vander Ark said. “We are all going to be faster and stronger. I think we can be a top five contender at State.”