Cross Country Places First in Meet


Media by Rob Kilo

Niko Kilo, senior, and his teammate, Willem Hummel, are running a 5K as they pass a boy during the Hazelwood cross country meet on Oct. 7. As they passed the boy, they secured the Varsity cross country team’s 1st place in the meet. Kilo placed 6th in the race, and Hummel placed 5th. “We gave it our all,” Kilo said.

Niko Kilo’s, senior, feet pound the ground as he catches sight of the finish line. He was in the last 20 meters of the 5k, running faster than he ever has before.

Kilo and his teammate, Willem Hummel, spot the boy who ultimately decides their placement in the meet as they push a final burst of energy into their legs.

As the pair passes the boy, they cement their team’s first win in a cross country meet in two years.

“It was amazing,” Kilo said. “I felt very scared that we weren’t going to catch him because he had a decent lead on us but I started striding and then Willem matched me and pushed me.”

The Hazelwood cross country meet on Oct. 7, was unexpected, Kilo said, because every single boys varsity member medaled and the team placed 1st in the meet. All the varsity members ranked top 25 at the meet.

“It was great afterwards, taking the photos and being able to hold the first place plaque,” Kilo said.

It was great afterwards, taking the photos and being able to hold the first place plaque.

— Niko Kilo

Kilo ended up placing 6th in the race and hitting a new personal record. Kilo said a large part of this was because of how Hummel challenged his pacing.

“He got me to 6th because I wouldn’t have been pacing as fast as he had me to,” Kilo said.

Kilo said the meet helped him feel more confident that he would make it to State on Nov. 4. The next meet for varsity cross country is Oct. 15.

Brady Lingafeltor, junior, joined the cross country team freshman year and made varsity his junior year.

Lingafeltor said the meet this past Friday was his best race yet. He lowered his personal best by four seconds, to a time of 17:51, earning him 8th place.

“We felt like we had a good chance of winning and I think that helped us out,” Lingafeltor said.

Lingafeltor said the combinations of the teams at the meet and strong spirits of the MHS team allowed a lot of the members to do well, even being able to win some medals.

It’s a very individualized sport, but also a team sport.

— Steve Schmitt

Steve Schmitt, math teacher, helps coach the varsity cross country teams. When he found out MHS won the meet last Friday, Schmitt said he felt proud that a lot of the athletes were able to reach their personal goals.

“It’s truly their victory,” Schmitt said. “If they’ve won something, they’ve totally earned it.”

Schmitt said he hopes the teams will keep propelling forward and win more competitions because they have a lot of excitement for future meets.

For next fall, Schmitt said he hopes that more students will consider joining cross country.

“It’s a very individualized sport, but also a team sport,” Schmitt said.