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WRMS Hosts First Cross Country Meet

Joel LaCount
8th grade boys begin their run at Washburn Rural’s first home cross country meet.

On September 21st, 2023, the Washburn Rural Middle School cross country team hosted their first ever cross country meet. Many schools participated, including Shawnee Heights, Lawrence-Southwest, Eisenhower, Liberty Memorial, and Emporia. Washburn Rural placed 1st in every category, dominating the meet. The course was a 2-mile long track that weaved through the Outdoor Education area, passing the frog pond, dam, and many other landmarks.

You may be wondering why Washburn Rural hasn’t hosted a cross country meet until now. Head cross country coach, Kathryn Louderback, said, “It takes a lot of work and coordination to host a meet. The Kansas State High School Activities Association has guidelines you have to follow in order to host a meet. There are timing companies you need to hire months ahead of time, to help record the results, and they get booked quickly with how busy the season is. In order to host a meet you also need to develop, maintain, and mark the course. Not to mention, while you are doing all this, you need to be coaching the athletes as well.” 

Obviously, hosting a cross country meet is no simple undertaking. In addition to all the prior planning, there may be some nerves involved. When Louderback was asked how she felt about having a home meet, she said, “To be honest, it was very stressful the week of hosting, I really wanted to host a quality meet for our students, parents, and visiting schools. In the end I am very pleased with the outcome of the meet.”

But what did the athletes think of the new experience? When 7th grader Quinn Nolte was asked how she felt about having a home meet, she said, “There was kinda some pressure”. Multiple runners were asked how they felt about their performance. Nolte responded with “I did well, it wasn’t my best meet though.” 8th grader Clayton Fink said, “I didn’t do the best, but it was really nice,” when asked about having a home meet. 

Will WRMS host more cross country meets in the future? The answer is unclear, but we do know some athletes are on board. 7th grader Morgan Munson said, “I thought it was pretty cool. I would like to have more home meets.”

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