Seymour sophomore cross country runner sets a personal record with his 30th place finish at the WIAA Division 2 State Cross Country Championships in Wisconsin Rapids on Saturday, October 28. – Photo courtesy of Jazmyne Zakrzewski
There are highs and lows when competing in athletics and running cross country is no different.
Thunder sophomore runner Riley Volkman definitely finished on a high note as he set a personal record of 17:06.97 for a 30th place finish at the WIAA Division 2 State Cross Country Championships on Saturday, October 28.
Volkman, along with coach Scott Michalski, strategized in finishing in the top 50.
“We couldn’t be any more happier with his performance,” Michalski said. “Placing 30th was a surprise. It was a pleasant surprise obviously.
“He was so excited and we were excited for him. There were a lot of hugs and teary eyes, that’s for sure.”
Michalski said he knew Volkman was capable of a good finish and for him to come through was pretty special.
He said they prepared the right way with a moderate practice on Monday and Tuesday challenging him physically.
“The rest of the week we prepared mentally,” Michalski said.
Prior to the start of the race, he said they discussed where they wanted to be and that first mile being able to control his emotions.
At mile one Volkman was in 57th place towards the back of the pack.
Once they reached mile two, he was in 35th place.
“That kind of shows you how many runners he has passed in one mile,” Volkman’s coach said. “To do that was pretty impressive. He ran the exact race that we had talked about,”
Michalski said some competitors went out way too fast.
“He was able to control his emotions and excitement and run the perfect race,” he said.
The 3.1 mile Wisconsin Rapids race course can be pretty brutal with the second mile bering very difficult with all the hills.
“He visualized where he wanted to be each mile and he finished with his heart,” Michalski said.