New runners set the pace for cross country

Cross country searches for strong runners in the absence of Kaupilla.

The cross country team has a big hole to fill now that State champion Noah Kauppila has graduated. Keeping pace with Noah Kauppila is no easy feat but Kevin Ganahl, senior, hopes to step up to the challenge despite the leg injury he sustained last track season.

“There are some big shoes to fill, but I just gotta push my hardest and just train through everything,” Ganahl said.

Along with daily cross country training at MHS, Ganahl has also taken his training outside of school.

“I took a senior incentive in the morning so I could go up to Lifetime fitness before school to get a workout on the bicycle and then I also took basic aquatics so during school I can swim before practice and then I’ll run after school and then a couple times a week I’ll go back to lifetime at night and do yoga to stretch out my body,” Ganahl said.

Eager for competitions to start, Ganahl also looks forward to seeing his other teammates compete.

Ganahl said many new distance runners will make a difference this season such as Thomas Penny, Ryan Hart, and Steven Naylor.

“These are really our distance guys that will really improve and fill in the holes that have been left from previous runners,” Ganahl said.

Though Ganahl thinks the season will have a slow start, he said after the team picks up the pace, they will be difficult to defeat.

“We’re doing harder workouts and we’re pushing people with more mileage but we’re keeping on the same track of what we’ve done previously because we are having a lot of success the past couple of years,” Ganahl said.

Thomas Penny, sophomore, said the entire cross country team is training really hard this season. Most of the varsity and some of the JV teams are training up to six times a week.

“We have the runs on the weekends and we are supposed to run pretty often,” Penny said. “Coach Ebert gives us a certain distance to run.”

Penny said the entire team is really looking forward to this next season.

“Everyone’s ready for a great year,” Penny said.

As for Ganahl, he continues to train hard to recover from his injury and invites students to join the cross country team this year.

“Everyone that has been on the bubble of ‘I don’t know if I should run or not’ especially if you are a lower classman come out and run because it’s going to be a great way to meet people and you never know what you’re going to be able to do when I was coming into high school I had no idea that I was going to be a runner and here I am running varsity and just really loving it.”