Runners are Warming Up for Cross Country Season

above%2C+Megan+Klubek+representing+Iola

Karima Hall

above, Megan Klubek representing Iola

Ryan Eyster, Editor

The Iola Cross Country team is warming up for another strong season in the Pioneer league. Last year, the Cross Country team sprinted through several barriers with staff changes, and this year they are doing the same. “This year’s team is strong, but we’ve lost a few good runners,” says junior Braden Plumlee. Plumlee has been with the team since he was in 7th grade. “We’re coping with few numbers.”

The team just returned from their Fort Scott meet, where the boys “coped” well, right after one another. “We started off stuck behind a pack, but five of us weaved through and made it up to a placement range. We finished 5th, 6th, 7th, 8th, and 9th.”

To prepare, the team spent most of their summer conditioning time at Riverside, on the Prairie Spirit trail, and running the “Bassola” loop south of town. “We run anywhere from 8 to 10 miles a day,” says junior Megan Klubek, who is on the girls varsity team. Megan is currently 3rd in the Pioneer league. The girls’ varsity squad hasn’t been large in years prior, but losing a senior always hurts. “It’s not fun losing Jo [Lohman], but we’re feeling strong. Olivia, Abigail and I always place in the top 25.” Senior Abigail Taylor is presently 5th in the league, with her sophomore sister following close behind.

This year’s team has 15 runners. Most of their losses have been from seniors that have aged out. However, Plumlee believes in the team in years to come. “This year, we have 29 runners between the 7th and 8th grades.” With nearly double the number of runners, the high school could expect strong results in the next two years.