Cross Country Quad Meet

Wildcat cross country takes first at Walnut Grove


Ally Fortney

The Wildcats tried to run as a group to motivate each other throughout the race. Gilbert led the team and got second in the race. “We wanted to push each other to win by staying together,” Gilbert said. “We tried to keep a steady pace throughout the race and have more energy near the end.”

Garrett Wilcoxen, Staff Reporter

On Friday, October 2, the Millard West Cross Country team ran in a home meet at Walnut Grove. The Wildcats competed against Creighton Prep, Omaha Skutt Catholic, Papillion-LaVista South and Millard South. Millard West’s boys varsity team has started off the season strong with several wins. They took first place in the Skutt Invite, Covid Conference #2, Harold Scott Invite and the Covid Conference #3. The girls varsity team has placed second and third many times this season already and got their first win this Friday. This win for the varsity boys and girls team is a great motivator to influence them to finish the season on top.

The varsity boys team sent 19 runners to the race, many of whom surpassed their previous times. Junior Sam Kirchner led the Wildcats in their victory with a time of 15 minutes and 58 seconds. Following Kirchner was senior Austin Goetsche who placed second for Millard West and seventh in the race. He had a time of 16 minutes and 36 seconds barely beating three other racers within six seconds of his time. With a time of 16 minutes and 37 seconds, sophomore Piercze Marshall crossed the line, taking third for Millard West and eight overall.

“Despite winning, I believe we have a lot to improve on,” Marshall said. “Our two to six runners need to stay more closely when running in order to push each other throughout the race. The pace at the start was faster than what we would have liked, causing us to be more tired at the end.”

The varsity girls team had 13 girls compete in the race, many of whom placed with similar times finishing together. Junior Emily Gilbert led the Wildcats to their win with a time of 19 minutes and 28 seconds. She has placed in top spots all season and placed second overall in this race. Just 18 seconds shy of Gilbert was sophomore Isabelle Harnette with a time of 19 minutes and 46 seconds. Following Harnett, junior Sydney Beaudin had a time of 19 minutes and 48 seconds. These three racers ran fairly close times and that happened quite often with others in this meet. Another set of runners with close times would be junior Sammi Vojslavek, freshman Thea Kutash and sophomore Callie Kirchner who finished within 11 seconds of each other.

“I anticipated that we would place at least top two,” Gilbert said. “We prepared by doing some harder workouts earlier on, and then doing our pre-meet easy run the day before. Last week, I started out fast and lost energy too early, so this week I tried to maintain a steady pace.”

Another highlight from the boys race would be Sam Kirchner running a sub-16 and beating his personal record. No one on either team has run that fast this year, and it was a milestone Kirchner has been wanting to pass for some time.

“There’s a lot going through your head when you’re running your fastest time yet,” Kirchner said. “I had to focus on my pace and motivate myself constantly to keep moving, along with remembering what the coaches told us, like surging. We also needed to improve our focus as a team and motivate each other so we can make our goal, winning state.”

The Wildcats varsity teams will have another meet on Thursday, October 15th. With the wins from this Friday, it puts both teams in a good position for state.