Six Sharks earn All-State honors in cross country


Courtesy Photo

The Sharks had great performances at the state meet that resulted in six runners earning All-State honors.

Jaszmin Harbor, Staff Writer

It takes dedication and hard work to constantly improve. Keegan Honig, Nate March, Ben March, Mikenna Borie, Elizabeth Munderloh, and Aaron Bowerman know this, and that is why they just achieved All-State honors! These athletes have worked so hard to accomplish this honor.

Elizabeth Munderloh, known as Libby, stated, “I train all year long, and the work really happens in my off-seasons, like winter and summer. But in season, I just try to stay healthy, run hard in practice, do the extra things, and keep the right focus. Placing the highest at the state meet for the girls’ team (in program history–fourth) really means a lot because it has always been my and the other girls’ efforts to change the program and create something bigger. I think this shows that our group is heading in the right direction to make the Saint Louis girls’ running program something extraordinary. I definitely am inspired by wanting to just push and challenge myself both mentally and physically, but a huge factor into why I run is all the people that have supported me through everything to get me as far as I have gotten. Without these people, I don’t even know if I would be running, and I definitely know I wouldn’t have the passion I have for it now.”

Their accomplishment has really made their coach proud. Mr. Puffpaff, the track and cross country coach, claimed, “I have been coaching cross country since 2009 here at St. Louis. I was the assistant for the first three years and then took over as head coach in 2012. The sport of distance running had a tremendous impact on my life. It taught me self-discipline, hard work, and what it meant to be part of something bigger than self. I got into coaching because I wanted to help others have that same experience and enjoy the same positive impact on their lives. This group has accomplished so many amazing things. Despite all the adversity they faced this season, they stuck together and fought for each other, and in the end, were rewarded with accomplishments and memories that will last a lifetime. It was a historic season, and this group earned it.”

Teammates are the root of most of their inspiration. Mikenna Borie, a junior at St. Louis High School, voiced, “What inspires me to run are the other runners on my team. We all run for each other, and without them, I wouldn’t be a runner. In order to train for my event, I run all year long, doing lots of workouts and long runs. This means everything to me. I’ve worked really hard and have put all of my time into it.”

Nate March, also a junior at SLHS, explained, “I ran and trusted that Mr. Puffpaff knew what he was doing when he told us what we had to run. Words can’t describe how happy it makes me because now we will be legends, and no matter what, we get to say that we were state champions. Nothing really inspires me to run. It is more like who: all my friends, family, and coaches are always there to encourage me when the going gets tough.”