The 2016-2017 Washington County High School Cross Country Team. (Photo submitted)
(SPRINGFIELD, Ky.) – Washington County High School has added another sport to its variety of athletics – cross country. The team consists of three male students – Matthew Cochran, Kyle Schrader and Garrett Settles, and eight female students – Madison Coulter, Mary Claire Hughes, Hailey Jones, Jenna Martinez, Kelcie Noel, Jaden Rozaieski, Harlee Settles and Gabrielle Thompson. The team competed in their first meet last week. It is reestablishment of the previous cross country team which was active at WCHS in the 1980s. “We were able to pilot this program because enough students were interested and it grabbed a completely different group of students,” says WCHS physical education teacher and head coach of the cross country team Lena Bramblett. “These students were able to compete with minimal practice. I was so proud of these student athletes at the first cross country meet.” Rozaieski earned 4th place and Thompson earned 5th place in the first meet.
Washington County Schools Athletic Director Jeff Tingle said the team was “an exciting addition” to the sports programs at WCHS. “[We] are very pleased to see it implemented,” he says. “Almost all of the participants were not involved in any other sport, and as statistics prove, this also has a positive influence on their academic standing. We are very fortunate to have Coach Lena Bramblett help get this new program started.”
“We are thrilled to have a cross country team this year,” says Washington County Schools Superintendent Dr. J. Robin Cochran. “Any time that we offer opportunities for students to be a part of something outside the school day, it is a win-win for everyone involved. It is further hope that more students will become involved in this individualized sport as it teaches a love of running and the leading of a healthy lifestyle behavior that can continue into adulthood. As we know, many other sports stop at the end of high school, while running is a sport/hobby that can last forever!”
Says Bramblett, “I look forward to next season when we are able to fully practice and implement a training program for these runners to compete at a higher level.”