By Cameron Hill
You’re sweating profusely. Every muscle in your body is sore. You’re extremely tired but you just have to keep running and think of something else other than your feet hitting the ground. Sometimes you just don’t think at all and just let instinct take over. Finally, you see the finish line. A great feeling of relief floods through you and you can finally get some water and much-needed rest. That is how it feels to run a cross country race.
However unappealing this may sound to some, others excel at the challenges of long distance running. The cross country team at Tempe Prep is lucky to have a group of excellent runners. Two standouts have been Junior Kylie Klassen and Sophomore Zack McIntyre.
Zack and Kylie have very different reasons why they do cross country. Zack cited “self-improvement and staying fit” as his main motivations for running while Kylie said she does cross country to “escape from daily activities and stress.” These are examples of the variety of reasons you might want to run cross country.
Kylie and Zack also offered some ways to excel in cross country. Kylie stated that: “It’s extremely important to have a good mental capacity in order to run. The mind is the most powerful [tool] in cross country.” She later added, “You have to believe you can keep going in order to keep going.”
Zack echoed this sentiment when he said, “The most important part of long-distance running is to just keep going.” This advice of just keep going is not only great advice for runners but just great advice in life.
The two runners also offered some insight into what goes through their head during a race. Zack said that during a race he’s “just thinking about keeping a steady pace. ”Kylie stated that “most of the time I’m not thinking at all besides ‘I want Water’ or ‘My legs hurt,’” and she later said she also thinks “‘You gotta beat her’ about whoever the girl in front of me is.” It was great to get an insight into what these runners think during these long races.
Onto some of the tangible results of the team’s hard work. At their first meet at Valley Lutheran on Sept. 4, the Lady Knights achieved a top 8 finish fueled by strong performances by freshman Samantha Sayer and junior Hannah Matsumoto. At their Sept. 18 meet at Kiwanis Park, Zack finished 19th out of 149 male runners while Kylie Klassen led the girls team to another top 8 performance by finishing 19th out of over 100 female runners. Zack was able to complete a personal record of 18 minutes and 54 seconds in the 5000 meters.
Overall, the Knights have had a great season so far and are looking to continue to improve. With strong runners like the ones in this article and more, Tempe Prep Cross Country should have no problems getting even more great results.
Article by Cameron Hill, student staff writer for De Equitibus, Tempe Preparatory Academy’s student newspaper.
About Tempe Prep: Tempe Preparatory Academy is a tuition-free public charter school in Tempe for students in grades 6-12 that provides a nationally acclaimed liberal arts education based on the Great Books of Western Civilization with an exceptional math, science, foreign language, humanities, and fine arts curriculum. Tempe Prep has been recognized by the Arizona Board of Regents as having the highest percentage of college graduates in the state and has been named the #1 high school in Arizona by Newsweek (America’s Top High Schools 2016). For more information about enrolling at Tempe Prep, visit the school’s website at tempeprep.org.