WHS Cross Country Runners Excelled At State

Johnie J. Logue
Enterprise Staff
WHS Freshman Alyssa Alcantara even surprised her coach last Saturday at the state meet at the Oaks Hills Golf Course in Jefferson City MO.
 Head Cross Country Coach Ehren Banfield commented, " I knew Alyssa had an All-State Performance in her but 10th out of 176 is an accomplishment indeed."( TIME: 21:15.40).
Coach Banfield  explained details of the race, "Alyssa Alcantara was nervous as the 20 minute gun shot off to announce to the runners that race time was nearing.  Alyssa, a freshman, has been a star this entire season and I knew that an All-State Performance was certainly in her grasp.  As race time was counting down, I went over the strategy that we had discussed for many days now as the countdown to state was approaching.  The key to her race success today was to get out strong, fast and get in good position in the front pack.  With 176 girls running in the Class 2 girls race, position was vital.  This race was not some normal season race or even a district meet that only had 47 runners or much less.  She was competing again 176 young ladies across the entire state that had earned this final race to prove how well they have trained and grueled through thousands of miles of training to prove their athletic ability and determination.  
The pillar to Alyssa's success was hindering on her first 300-400 meters of the 5000 meter (5 K) race.  Not only did Alyssa have Coach to listen to, but experienced All -State Warsaw runner Dallas Larsen, who found out late Friday night that he did not have to go to Drill this weekend and could come to support Warsaw XC at the State Meet.  Dallas’s  experience and being a previous teammate of Alyssa last year helped give her the calm and focus she needed before race time. Dallas has not been the only influence in Alyssa’s XC season this year, but Ashlee Kuykendall ,who has talked with Alyssa on many occasions, came out to support her the previous weekend at Districts in Hollister, MO."
Senior Maleek Porter placed 60th out of 175 runners (Time: 18:56.12) Coach Banfield commented,"Maleek Porter, who has wanted to make State for many years now has finally achieved his goal.  I know Maleek would have liked to have placed in the top 25 but another 175 state qualifiers were also dreaming of that same exact goal. "
Sophomore Trey Palmer also ran a good race finishing (71st/175) (Time: 19:08.18).  Coach Banfield  said, "Trey is progressing well as a runner and is moving in the right direction. He will keep moving up in placements and lowering his times with faster races." 
All three runners are to be commended for their outstanding seasons, their hard work, dedication and passion for Cross Country.