Passion for running leads to big win

Megan Koch and Katie Ellis. PhotoCo: Caitlyn Tsukamoto

Megan Koch and Katie Ellis. PhotoCo: Caitlyn Tsukamoto

The cross country season is now officially over, with the state meet occurring on Saturday October 25th at Penrose Event Center in Colorado Springs. Two of Highlands Ranch’s own freshmen, Megan Koch and Katie Ellis, competed on the 25th. Both girls trained at practices to earn the places they received at the meet.

Megan Koch, freshman, placed 43rd in the 3.1 mile race, and Katie Ellis, freshman, placed 46th. Koch was expected to place 111th based on her season times, and Ellis was expected to place 82nd based on her season times. Koch finished the state race with a time of 21 minutes and six seconds. Ellis finished the race with a time of 21 minutes and nine seconds.

“There was definitely a lot of nerves before the race,” Koch said. “It’s hard to mentally be prepared for the race, and stand at the starting line and then actually run,” Said Ellis.

Koch and Ellis trained an extraordinary amount for the state meet. “Megan and Katie are both extremely talented. And on top of that talent they are extremely hard working, especially for freshmen,” Said Adam Coulson, assistant cross country coach. The girls put in at least 25-30 miles of running a week to prepare for the meet and continue to work to reach certain times and push themselves.

“We are taking a week off from running, and Katie is having such a hard time not running,” Said Koch. Cross country has had a large influence on both freshmen girls’ lives. Koch began running through soccer and has pursued her passion for running. Ellis began running in seventh grade cross country.

“It’s one of the best decisions I’ve made since high school started. It tests my limits, makes me better, and I’ve met some great people that are like family to me. I don’t know what I’d do without them or cross country,” Koch said. This sport has become a large part of who these girls are.

“I think I do so well at cross country, and go to state because I have such a passion for running. I enjoy doing it just like someone else would enjoy doing video games,” Said Ellis. These two girls used their passion for cross country and running to train up to three and a half hours a day and then skyrocketing above their expected 111th and 82nd places in the meet.

Caitlyn Tsukamoto, Guest Contributor 

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