Bella Wiltfong and Katie Beyer commit to run in college


As the De Soto High School cross country senior runners finally wrapped up their seasons, the athletes said their goodbyes to running, with the exception of Bella Wiltfong and Katie Beyer. 

The two runners announced their commitments to Rockhurst University on Nov. 10. Since then, both runners have been extremely excited to have the opportunity to continue their running careers. 

“I’m probably most excited about continuing to become a better runner while meeting new people and bonding with a different team,” Wiltfong said. “Everyone runs the same race, no matter what time and feels the same pain together.” 

Besides athletics, both runners were also attracted to the academics Rockhurst had to offer. 

“I went on a visit and looked at the nursing program. I loved it and pretty much decided I wanted to go there,” Beyer said. 

Wiltfong additionally echoed her liking for Rockhurst’s academics as well. 

“I was really drawn to Rockhurst because I plan on pursuing business but mainly want the communications side,” Wiltfong said. “My dad also went to Rockhurst and played baseball, so it’s definitely something that drew me to the school more.” 

The most unique part of each commitment is that both runners were able to do it together. 

“One day, Bella and I were talking about college and we both happened to be looking into Rockhurst. We threw around the idea of running and once the coach reached out, everything just seemed to fall in place,” Beyer said. 

With the excitement of running together through college, Wiltfong and Beyer both have nerves for the upcoming year as well. 

“I’m nervous to have to maintain the balance of a sport, school, family and job,” Wiltfong said. “I feel at ease though because I know that if something matters or is important, I will make time for it.” 

In addition, Beyer is nervous about her schedule as well. 

“I’m most nervous about balancing school and cross country, especially the first semester when I’m figuring everything out,” Beyer said. 

Both runners are also embracing the challenges next year will provide.

“My biggest challenge will be overcoming my mental blocks with running and allowing myself to fail sometimes,” Wiltfong said. “I will definitely need to work on realizing my successes and learning from my failures.”

In addition to Wiltfong, Beyer embraces the challenges she will have to overcome. 

“I think the biggest challenge will be time management and organization between cross country and school because I won’t be used to being on my own and having to balance everything myself,” Beyer said.

Despite the challenges, both runners are excited to embrace the newness of college next year as well as being a part of  a collegiate sport. 

“I am super excited to continue cross country in college and that Bella and I are doing it together,” Beyer said. “It will be so much fun.”