The Impact of Cross Country On My Life

four years of running helped shape my decisions in life

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The Impact of Cross Country On My Life

That is me running a meet during sophomore year

That is me running a meet during sophomore year

Photo by Bob Killgore

That is me running a meet during sophomore year

Photo by Bob Killgore

Photo by Bob Killgore

That is me running a meet during sophomore year

Bob Killgore, Sports Editor

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During the summer of my freshman year, I ran conditioning for the upcoming cross country season. Some of my friends were running and I decided to run with them. I was not good at the sport and didn’t want to continue, but the people and coach Elliott persuaded me to keep going in the sport. As I reflect after my season ended a couple of weeks ago, it shocked me how much of an impact cross country has made on my life.

The memories I made doing cross country are priceless. I will never forget the time that I placed thirteenth in a meet at Boys Town sophomore year, where I earned my first and only medal. The feeling I got knowing that all the hard work I put into the sport finally paid off was rewarding and special. The person that I ran with during the summer and season, Hans Espirtiu, earned 3rd place in that meet.

I miss running with Hans sophomore year; I enjoyed getting away from life and I was able to run with an inspirational person. Hans was a fantastic leader and made everyone around him better. He inspired me to be a strong leader to the team and work hard everyday to improve.

I liked the long runs more than any other practice, especially when we did it in the mornings because it was the perfect temperature to run in and I didn’t have to worry about the heat. Running around Zurinsky was more scenic than the other runs and it kept my mind off the pain I was in while running. Those days were simple back then and I wish I could experience one of those runs again.

One of the most enjoyable aspects of cross country was the pasta feeds. Eating pasta, cookies, and drinking Gatorade with the team was a good time and at every pasta feed, there was a football game played. In the final football game of my cross country career, I was selected by Ross Kathol to be the referee of the game. It was a close game and I made a call that gave Ross’s opponent, Tommy Koenig’s team, the victory.

Like Hans, Ross was a person I looked up to and I tried to emulate what he did when he was a senior. He also cracked a lot of jokes during the season and I replayed them in my head during the hard workouts. Ross was an entertaining guy and it was a pleasure running with him for my first three years of cross country,

Ross never let that loss go; he told me I made the wrong call countless times over the year and gave me glasses at the cross country banquet because of my decision on the play. At the banquet, the team gathers together one last time and seniors give humorous gifts to the lower class men. We also watch a video recapping the season and had a dinner. The banquet was a sendoff for the seniors and helped the team feel a sense of closure after it.

Cross country lead me to journalism; Coach Elliott was the advisor and I thought it would be a fun class because he taught it. I was right and I wasn’t thinking about joining Newspaper until Elliott asked me to turn in an application. I filled one out, interviewed, and joined the staff during my sophomore year. All the joy I felt and the memories I made in newspaper wouldn’t have happened if it weren’t for the cross country team.

Despite the pain of running and the difficult meets, I’m ecstatic I ran this sport for four years. Cross country helped me grow closer to my friends and I gained a few new friends as well. The sport gave create my many nicknames, from BK to BobbyK. I met Elliott through cross country, and he guided me to Newspaper, track, and rock climbing club.

He was important to me because he helped me figure out what activities I wanted to participate in during high school and I found my identity in high school because of him. Elliott and cross country shaped my life in ways I couldn’t foresee, and I will be forever grateful to the sport.

 

Bob Killgore - Sports Editor

Bob joined The Flightline in January of 2016. His interests include cross country and track. He enjoys watching MLB baseball and his favorite baseball team is the Arizona Diamondbacks. You can email him at [email protected]