Cross-country awards conclude 2019 season

By : 
CHAD SMITH

The Kingsland cross-country team brought its fall season to an end with the annual awards banquet on Nov. 17 at the Five Wynds Event Center.

Head coach Erin Milz handed out four team awards, as well as plaques to each of the team captains.

Most Valuable Girl Runner – Susan Mettler

Unfortunately, the Knights’ best female runner couldn’t finish out her sophomore season schedule because of an injury. Mettler slipped at the end of the race in Chatfield and suffered a knee injury.

“She never actually went in to see the doctor,” Milz said. “They think it was just a sprained ligament. Susie did try running recently but it was still sore, so they’ll keep her off it for a while longer.”

When she did run, Susie did very well. She knew what she was doing out there. One thing that makes her successful is a strong work ethic. Running is just one of her sports and she’s athletic all year round. Staying active and keeping her endurance up helps her be successful at cross-country.”

Most Valuable Boy Runner – Garrison Hubka

Only a freshman in his first year of cross-country competition, Hubka was one of Kingsland’s most consistent runners from start to finish. Milz said his success boiled down to hard work.

 “At practice, Garrison was always asking if he could ‘go do this or go do that,’” she recalled. “He was always asking to do extra work, setting a goal, mentally preparing for it, and then going to get that goal. You typically don’t see that much tenacity in a freshman. I think that kind of work ethic means he’s only going to run faster over the rest of his time in cross-country.”

Most Improved – Lily Freet

As the name of the award implies, the freshman showed consistent improvement as the fall season progressed. “When she started this season, it took her over 30 minutes to finish a race,” Milz said. “By the end of the year, she had worked her way under 30 minutes. Her form improved, her mindset improved, and it was awesome.

 “One of the biggest keys to improvement is running with a straight back, which keeps the chest cavity open. That made it much easier for runners to take in a full breath. She also used her arms right and her gait improved a lot.”

Knight Award – Josh Meskill

Just a freshman, Meskill was named the Knight Award recipient as he exemplified what a team player looks like.

“He was always very involved with the team” Milz recalled. “If he wasn’t running, he was cheering for his teammates. They could hear him cheering and drew a lot of encouragement from him.

“As a junior high runner last year, he was back at the varsity start line cheering for his team as soon as his meet was over. He would either be by me or somewhere out on the course. He’s a team player and almost a ‘mini-coach’ out there on the course.”

2019 captains

Wesley Dean: “Unfortunately, Wesley was out for most of the season because of injury,” Milz recalled. “He came back and ran in the last three meets of the season. It was so fun to see him come back. You could see how much happier he was out there on the course and not stuck on the sidelines. It was great to see him finish his senior year out there.”

Merredith Farlinger: “She’s my calm, cool, and collected kid,” Milz said with a chuckle. “The thing about Meredith is she tends to avoid a lot of the ‘shenanigans’ that some other kids might be involved in. She worked hard and showed up for every meet. Merredith has good natural pacing to her running style.”

Letter winners: Lily Freet, Merredith Farlinger, Faith Lange, Garrison Hubka, Josh Meskill, Nickolas Eickhoff, Isaac Hauser, Noah Broadwater, Wesley Dean, Nathan O'Connell, Susie Mettler and Treyton Pokorney

Academic awards: Nathan O’Connell, Lily Freet, Isaac Hauser, Trey Pokorney and Susie Mettler.