Cross country team to finish season in South Dakota

The De Soto team poses for a picture at Rim Rock Farm on Saturday Nov. 2

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The De Soto team poses for a picture at Rim Rock Farm on Saturday Nov. 2

Erin Pickert, Feature Editor

The De Soto High School cross country team finished their official season at the Kansas State Cross Country Meet at Rim Rock Farm in Lawrence on Nov. 2. The boys’ team finished in sixth place and the girls team finished in ninth place.

According to assistant cross country coach Ben Stamey, it was the first time the girls had qualified in five years and the boys’ team repeated a top 10 finish.

However, the cross country season is not over for 25 individuals on the team. They will travel to Sioux Falls in South Dakota for the annual Nike Cross Regionals meet. 

“It’s a really big national meet so there will be people from all over and from multiple states,” Hileman said.

Last year, the only runners to travel to compete in South Dakota were the boys. This year, the team attending is bigger and includes members from both the girls and boys teams.

“We had zero girls last year and we have roughly 11 this year,” Stamey said. 

Hileman expects this trend to continue due to the head coach Jack Sachse’s dedication to getting people involved in the program.

“I think the numbers will continue to grow because Sachse is really good about helping the program and focusing on each individual no matter their time and making sure that everyone is improving and PRing [Personal Record],” Hileman said. “He’s really dedicated to not just the best runners, but the ones that are going to be on Varsity and the ones that are going to make the team better.”

The South Dakota trip, which Sachse began last year as a tradition for the team, comes at an ideal time in the season.

“It’s not a lot of pressure because the season is over. They’re in good shape already, so they get to travel and they get to run one more time on a very flat, fast course. It’s just another opportunity to be with their teammates,” Stamey said.

Hileman is looking forward to a new experience with her team. 

“I’m looking forward to running with my teammates for something that is just for fun. I think team trips are really fun because you get to talk to people that you might not get to talk to a bunch at practice and get to know them better outside of the school environment,” Hileman said.

In general, though her season has not come to a close, Hileman feels like the season was a success.

“My favorite part was how close our team was. I really felt like there wasn’t any gender difference. Both the boys and the girls really had a good time and we hung out every weekend. I really liked that it felt like one big team,” Hileman said.

With these close bonds formed during the season, the team will have the opportunity to run one last time together.

Stamey believes a team trip is the best way to finish out the season.

“Running is hard and challenging. You need some good things to come from it and this is one of those good things,” Stamey said.