And they’re off… to State

Freshman+Elka+Billings+runs+her+heart+out.

Jenn Bycroft

Freshman Elka Billings runs her heart out.

Allie Utley, Staff Writer

The Iola High School’s cross country team is running their way into state this year. On Saturday, October 22, the team traveled to Burlington, Kansas to compete in 4A regionals, against 15 other surrounding schools.

“Megan is an inspiration. She’s a really great leader to all of us,” freshman Rachel Bycroft says.
Allie Utley
“Megan is an inspiration. She’s a really great leader to all of us,” freshman Rachel Bycroft says.

The girls were the first to run that morning, starting at 10:00 a.m.

“It was cold-ish that morning. I rolled my ankle by a tree as I was running, and I had a really bad side stitch,” freshman Rachel Bycroft said. “I was dead by the end of the race.”

The Fillies ended up placing a devastating fourth place, with only the top three teams advance to state. However, the top eleven individual runners can qualify, giving the freshman athlete Kelsey Morrison, with a time of 21:05, room to make it.

“You just gotta keep putting one foot in front of the other,” Morrison said.

The rest of the Fillies are walking away being Pioneer League Champions. Morrison will advance to state, which will be held in Wamego, Kansas on October 29.

“I’m sad cross country is over. It’s just a really great time,” Bycroft said. “Hopefully next year we go to state. Everyone gets better. With the incoming freshmen next year, I think we’ll be a really good team.”

(Left to right) Freshmen Elka Billings, Elysia Kunkler, Kelsey Morrison, senior Megan Klubek, freshman Rachel Bycroft, junior Olivia Taylor, and freshman Ella Taylor pose proudly after their successful day.
Allie Utley
(Left to right) Freshmen Elka Billings, Elysia Kunkler, Kelsey Morrison, senior Megan Klubek, freshman Rachel Bycroft, junior Olivia Taylor, and freshman Ella Taylor pose proudly after their successful day.

Finally, the Mustangs time to run had come. “We started around 10:20,” freshman Elijah Fawson said. “We’d been working really hard in practice to prepare for the race.”

The team ended up placing third, getting them all to qualify for state as a team.

“I was kind of worried, because I wasn’t feeling well. So I was concerned for the team because I was the fifth runner,” Fawson said. The entire varsity boys Cross Country team will be competing alongside Kelsey Morrison in Wamego on Oct. 29.