A Final Goodbye to the 2020 Cross Country Season

The Daleville Highschool cross country team ended their season on October 17th during their regional meet at the Muncie Sportsplex. For the first time in five years, the entire boys team made it out of their sectional meet and onto regionals, as well as Olivia Covert, the top-performing female athlete. The rest of the team ended their season on October 10th during the sectional meet at the Muncie Sportsplex. 


Seniors Khoa Weston, Cameron Lykins, Cayden Gothrup, and Marisa Engbrecht ended their cross country careers this month. Khoa Weston, who has run cross country for a total of seven years, says, “This year’s season didn’t go as well as I hoped when it came to my race times. I was able to run a personal best this year, but not where I wanted it to be. Additionally, I had to miss my regional race which was devastating not being able to run with my team one last time. However, I was able to make a lot of new friends and get closer to the friends I already had. Cameron Lykins, who has also run for seven years, finished his cross country career at the regional meet. “It was fun, I’m sad, but glad it’s over,” said Cameron. Cayden Gothrup, another senior, ran cross country for the first time during highschool. Marisa Engbrecht, who joined the team her junior year, says “I loved the relationships that were built during cross country. I’m going to miss all of it, including the practices, meets, coach, and teammates. Cross country helped me destress from school and life, as well as gave me a sense of accomplishment that made me a stronger person. I’m very thankful for the teammates and coaches that made cross country so wonderful.” 


All of the athletes on the team improved their times and themselves throughout the season. The personal records of each teammate reveal the hard work they put in: Khoa Weston with 18:20 (PR), Cameron Lykins with 18:56 (SB), Ethan Colvin with 19:03 (PR), Tim Arnold with 18:57 (PR), Meryck Adams with 19:27 (PR), Zach Cooper with 21:09 (PR), Brandon Kinnick with 21:22 (PR), Cayden Gothrup with 22:17 (PR), Joel Reyes with 22:16 (PR), Austin Tungate with 22:33 (SB), and Max White with 22:49 (PR). The female records this year were Olivia Covert with 22:17 (PR), Audrey Shepler with 23:23 (SB), Marisa Engbrecht with 26:13 (SB), Kadence Aikin with 26:26 (PR), and Holly Reeves with 39:27 (PR). 


Not only did Daleville gain an entirely new coach, Meghan Yencer, the cross country team gained six new athletes and three freshmen for the season. With a growing team and new coach, the Daleville cross country team should be back and better than ever next season. Coach Yencer said, “Overall, I am so, so happy with how this year went! I was pretty nervous since this is my first year at Daleville. We couldn’t practice as much this summer, and I didn’t know any students at the beginning. But, I can’t imagine my first year going any better than it did!” Coach Yencer had some proud words for her first set of athletes she coached. “I am so proud of my athletes. They worked so hard and ended up succeeding in more ways than one. Making it to Regionals for the Boys team and for Olivia was quite the way to end the season!” Coach Yencer is already excited for the 2021 cross country season, saying, “With a summer of dedicated running and some help from the underclassmen, I think next season will be even better.” 


Overall, Daleville can expect to have a growing cross country team, all who are ready to race by their first meet next year. The leading senior athlete Khoa Weston says, “We bonded through cold mornings, hot afternoons, brunches, and countless jokes that ran throughout the season. Though most athletes run cross country races as individuals, Daleville ran theirs as a family. Seeing my cross country career come to end makes me downhearted knowing I won’t be able to have these fun experiences with them again, but I know that the team will live on to make many more memories without me and the other seniors. Though I am not going to continue this path into college, I will use what cross country has taught me about determination, confidence, and mental toughness when facing hardships along my journey to become an electrical engineer.” The cross country team will have their fall banquet on November 12th to officially end their season. 


“I am especially grateful for our seniors– Marisa, Khoa, Cameron, and Cayden– for helping me find my way and leading this team. We will surely miss them but are grateful for all of their contributions!” – Megan Yencer, Head Cross Country Coach