Kiowa County athletes take part in unique cross country camp

Hannah Brown
Kiowa County Signal
Guest coach Conner Drendel speaks to young runners Hannah Halverstadt, Alli Taylor, and Jiwon Chang at Kiowa County's cross country camp.

Kiowa County Junior High and High School cross country teams met for a four-day camp with coaches Lori Wade and Kami Ballard along with Conner Drendel earlier this month. Drendel is a Haviland native and has been running competitively since 6th grade. 

"I like to do a variety of things at camp from timed miles to team building activities, nutrition, running form, and actual running on our practice course," said head coach Lori Wade. "We talk about a lot of things."

Through those activities, Wade and Ballard wanted to focus on letting new runners see what cross country was about. Returning runners took this time to set goals for the season. Students entering 6th grade to seniors in high school attended the camp, and there were about 20 runners each day. High school students demonstrated techniques and encouraged junior high runners. After assisting with junior high camp, the high school students stayed an extra two hours to participate in specific workouts. 

Wade believes there are several benefits for working out in the offseason. 

"It helps them physically condition, it helps them with injury prevention and it gives them confidence that they really can do it," said Wade. 

Both the junior high and high school teams kick off their season at the Meade Invitational on September 2.