Battered Cross Country Slogs Through NCKL


The seniors following their final race. From left to right, they are; BACK ROW: Austin Wuthnow, Damian Hartman, Braydon Surritte, Travis Luthi, Lucas Cook, and coach Tyler Bryson. FRONT ROW: Coach Andy Cook, Sydney Burton, Abby Barnes, and Megan Anguiano. (PHOTO: Kristi Cook)

On Thursday, October 11, the Cowboys and Cowgirls cross country teams traveled to Wamego for their NCKL League Race.

It was a little chilly outside, being in the low 50s and sunny. The course was flat which was good for the runners helping them get good good times. However, there were plenty of muddy spots that bogged down runners’ shoes. Freshman Thurman Geissinger finished his campaign with a first place team finish. Senior Austin Wuthnow finished second for the boys’ team on the back of setting himself a massive personal record. Also setting new personal records on the season were seniors Abby Barnes and Damian Hartman.

“You never really know how much you loved a sport you say you hate until it’s finally over,” stated Austin. He and his cousin Cooper Wuthnow will not be competing at regionals because they have to attend an FFA event.

Aaron Geissenger, the Cowboy’s top runner, couldn’t run due to an inflammation of lymph nodes on his side, but was still supportive of the Cowboys and Cowgirls during their race.

“The infection prevented me from running, and I was a little sad that I couldn’t run NCKL alongside my team, but I ran back and forth to cheer on every single on of them,” stated Aaron.

Geissinger was not the only one fighting sickness. Senior Lucas Cook ran the race with a fever of 100°, as he was in the middle of a battle with strep throat. He elected to run the race anyway, but was visibly fatigued for the entirety of the course. He and Geissinger were both league placers the year prior.

Despite the bad health on the boys’ side of the field, the girls team enjoyed success, with both senior Sydney Burton and junior Annie Bathurst earning league placings. Senior Abby Barnes placed just outside of recognition at 19th place.

Sydney Burton, 2nd (20:08.3); Annie Bathurst, 14th (21:44.3); Abby Barnes, 19th (22:43.0)

Thurman Geissinger, 16th (18:53.5); Austin Wuthnow, 25th (19:14.3); Lucas Cook, 28th (19:25.9); Damian Hartman, 34th (19:57.6)

The varsity squad will finish their season at the regional race in Leavenworth near Lansing on the morning of October 20th. Geissinger and Cook are expected to be at full strength by then.


Pieces of this article were originally written by another author. However, due to the article being introduced late and lacking substance, it was taken into the editor for final touch-ups because of its’ importance. Added were the results of T. Geissinger, Burton, Bathurst, and Barnes, as well as the paragraph on Cook and the final paragraph.