Boys cross country team take on Memphis Twilight Classic


Courtesy of @longhornrunning on Twitter

After winning the Memphis Twilight race, the varsity team gathers for a picture.

The boys cross country team traveled to Memphis, TN for a meet on Sept. 2-3 where varsity placed first and JV placed second.

“We left at about 10 [a.m.] and we got there pretty late. We only had 30 minutes to warm-up before we raced and we didn’t really have much free time,” junior and JV runner Joaqin Rendon said.

Out of the 60 total runners on the JV team, only the top seven were chosen to go alongside the varsity team.

“Last year was the first year I took a team to an out of town race. The people were chosen based on a combination of ability, work ethic, and seniority,” Head Coach Kevin John said.

The team has only raced in Memphis once before, where they lost their spot in the top four by only three points. This year, both varsity and JV runners attended and were able to beat the other 58 teams who competed.

“The race is much larger in sheer size than most meets we go to, including the State meet,” John said. “It is also run at night under the lights, which is kind of a unique experience and one of the big draws that got me interested in the meet in the first place.”

However, the racing schedule was revised after a heavy rainfall, which altered the condition of the course.

Courtesy of @longhornrunning on Twitter
Gearing up for the Memphis Twilight race, the cross country team prepares for their second-chance at the Championship title.

“We had to race a little bit earlier this year because the course was wet so it felt a little different because the ground was kind of soggy, but it’s a great atmosphere with the music in the background and all the people,” senior and varsity runner Matyas Csiki-Fejer said.

The team rented two mini-vans for the four-hour drive, splitting up into JV and varsity cars respectively.

I’ve been to Memphis once before but I didn’t remember how long it took,” Rendon said. “Just going there with all of my teammates–I was in the JV car–and it was just so much fun. Everyone was so pumped for the meet.”

Despite not being the only Missouri team competing in the race, they were selected by MoMilesplit to represent the state through the site’s Snapchat account.

“We had the Snapchat for the running website while we were in Memphis so we were recording nonsense on it the entire day,” Csiki-Fejer said.

John expressed the idea that running a new course against different schools was beneficial for the team.  

“You do not necessarily know all of the other competitors in the race. It can also be challenging to run in a new place when you aren’t really familiar with the course and how to go about racing on it,” John said.