By Kaitlyn Becker
Weld Central High School offers a variety of fall sports. The usual favorites, football volleyball, softball, and boys soccer are offered this year. But what about cross country? Being one of the least popular sports among athletes and least entertaining for some, there’s no question why it was one of the first sports to go after the budget cuts of 2014. However, this hasn’t stopped runners at Weld Central from competing this season.
Cross country runners from Weld Central have found a way around this problem. This season, they’re competing with the Brighton High School cross country team. Isaac Wagner and Kaitlyn Becker are WCHS students in the morning, and BHS varsity cross country runners in the afternoon. Their coach, Karen Schmidt, is an experienced runner and an avid ultra-marathoner. Since her last 100-miler in August, she has been able to share her talents with the team. These runners are learning not only push themselves to harder and longer, but to strategize on a 5k course, prevent injuries, and put mind over matter. So far, this training has paid off.
The team has had two meets to kick of the season, at Cheyenne Mountain Stampede, and the Stanley Lake Gator Invitational. Cheyenne Mountain was a great start to the season for the whole team, with Isaac coming in at 20:57.60 and Kaitlyn coming in at 20:57.10. Their most recent meet at Stanley Lake was a challenge, with weather over 84 degrees, and colds spreading throughout the team. Despite these difficulties, the BHS runners from Weld were able to come in within a minute of their last times, with a time of 21:57.00 for Isaac and 21:52.00 for Kaitlyn. The Bulldogs hope to sweep their upcoming home meet, the John Martinez Mercury Classic, on September 22 at the Adams County Fairgrounds. Good luck runners!
Photographer: Dianne Becker