Park Cross Country

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Park Cross Country

Joseph Jutley, Writer

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This season, Park’s cross country team is the largest it’s been in years. The team consists of nine boys led by Jordan Phillip, and three girls led by Heaven Hartsfield. While the girls team is small, Hartsfield has started strong with a season best of 25:05.

On the boys side, Jordan is leading the way. Phillips ran a personal record of 17:30 in the meet two weeks ago, which is a huge leap from his record of 18:52 from last season. Unfortunately, Phillips suffered what appears to be a bone bruise to his hip flexor whilst setting his personal record. The injury wasn’t severe, as Phillips was ready to roll for the upcoming race in Muskego. However, things got really bad for him during the race. His lingering injury caused him to run far slower than his personal record, and he was barely able to finish his race. After the race, Phillips needed crutches to get around, and it’s possible he returned from his hip injury too soon. Phillips did not compete in the dual meet between Park and St. Catherine’s High School. Phillips isn’t the only runner who’s been hit by the injury bug though. Josh Brendel, a new addition to the roster, is currently dealing with a stress fracture in one of his shins that will likely sideline him for the remainder of the season. This has made the team ineligible to earn team points at the varsity level, where a minimum of five runners are needed in the race to compete. Fortunately, Brendel has recently returned to practice and seems to be running smoothly.

Head Coach Glenn Schultz predicts that the team will have three medalists at the conference meet this Saturday. This trio consists of Phillips, Jutley, and Sura. If Phillips can recover properly and continue to lower his times with each race, he will have a legitimate chance at the state meet in La Crosse. Schultz has also been very impressed with two of the freshman boys, Eric Rannow and Kyle Ketterhagen, saying they get “better and better” with each week of practice. Hopefully the two stick with the sport and develop their running. The team currently has their eyes on the prize and their feet on the ground as the season is winding down. With conference, sectional, and state meets nearing, the cross team will continue to set the bar high and chase their season goals.