A goodbye to the cross country and track seniors


The De Soto Varsity Track team poses for a picture after competing at State on May 27, 2021.

Bella Wiltfong, Staff Reporter

As a member of the cross country team for the past two years, I have been able to see the now-graduated senior boys not only grow in running but also as people.

The seniors that make up not only the cross country team but also the majority of the mid-distance and distance track team, have created a long-standing tradition and impactful culture that makes the team unique. 

When the end of the cross country finally arose, many were just excited for one final track season together as a team.

Now that track season is now finished, it’s finally time for the underclassmen of the cross country and track teams to tell their beloved seniors goodbye. 

After competing at State for the last time, the seniors rode on the bus to drive to De Soto for the last time as a member of the track team. All throughout the bus, there was constant music blaring and laughter, but also the sadness and excitement of leaving the team and saying goodbye to something that has been a large part of their lives for the past four years. 

Getting up every single summer day around 6:00 to go run with an entire team brings a group of people together like no other, and the sociable and funny personalities of the seniors is what really brought the team together.

Many of the funniest memories most of the team have involved the seniors and shenanigans they got involved either on a run, at practice, at a meet, or honestly wherever they could. 

The boys’ cross country and track team though is much larger than the girl’s team and full of seniors and the culture they have created.

Every single time the team has gone to a hotel together or hung out and there is always something hilarious that occurs.

One of the girls’ team’s favorite memories is during a team-bonding trip to Iowa. The girls were sitting through a long meeting about running tactics while the boys hung out in their shared room. Suddenly we all heard a lot of laughing, some running, followed by a loud sound. (Those on the team know what I’m talking about.) 

It is sad to see that future memories on the team won’t involve them and summer practices won’t include Connor Gibson’s ab destroyer or soul crusher workouts. Groupme messages won’t be filled with Henry Rokusek’s pictures of food followed by a “Holy Moly” or that Carson Sturdy will never make a comparison from Iowa again.

The passion and motivation these boys bring to the team is unmatched, each one not only running with all their heart individually but motivating and cheering on their teammates like no other. I wish I could even begin to describe the passion they bring and exhibit about running. 

Many of us can’t imagine a team without those seniors and we will be extremely sad to see them leave. We know they are going to go on to do amazing things in college and hopefully will still manage to get a long run in on Saturdays.