Young runners lead the Mavericks cross country

Kiowa County USD 422 cross country runners are off to a great start in the 2023 season, putting in hours of practice and running on Saturdays without grumbling, according to head coach Lori Wade.

“It’s GREAT to be back in practice! My runners as well as myself have been looking forward to the season, and most of them ran over the summer. I challenge them with a 100 mile club, where they get something special to signify their accomplishment,” Wade said.

Though she has a very young team out to run this year, Wade said both boys and girls teams were already showing improvement in stamina and times.

“Samuel Martinez is my top returner on the boys team and he’s a sophomore. He came in 3rd at state last year,” Wade said. “My other returning sophomore is Quinting Allison. Joining us are three freshmen, Mason Weseloh, Kendal Cooper and Ben Hawkins. Mason ran for me the past three years in jr high cross country, and should do well this year.”

On the girls side, Wade had a lone returner, sophomore Sydney Taylor. She too went to state last year as a freshman.

“She has matured as a runner over the summer,” Wade said. “Joining Sydney is another sophomore new to the team Sauni Kishpaugh. Incoming freshmen Kimberly Redecop and Lauren Leoffler who were also on my jr. high team the last three years. Kimberly Redecop is a talented runner and a good one to watch too.”

Wade said her goal as a cross country coach is to help each runner become the best they can, for them to PR, and of course to get both teams qualified for state. She has been leading the Maverick harriers for six years now and continues to look forward to what each season brings.

“I always look forward to watching these young athletes set goals, then accomplish them,” she said.

Wade is assisted by coach Kami Ballard.