“There’s no other sport quite like it,” junior cross country runner Kevin Kleinegger said. Kleinegger has been a runner in cross country his whole high school career. All the races for this sport are 5 kilometers (3.1 miles) long. At the start of every race, the runners line up in a long horizontal line waiting for the gunshot, which Kleinegger describes as, “the most intense few moments of your life where the seconds feel like minutes.”
This season has been a good one for the team, however their biggest competition is Sherando High School. “One of our goals this year is to overcome the challenge Sherando has set for us,” Kleinegger explained. For the past two years Millbrook’s Cross Country team has gone to states and they hope to keep that tradition rolling. “Coach Shirk has been pushing us really hard with all the workouts and long runs he has been given us,” he stated.
“What I really like about cross country is the feeling that we are all one big family,” Kleinegger said. Everyone on our team genuinely looks out for each other and everyone is friends. “After our meet at Carlisle we are going to Hershey Park,” he added.
“Cross country has a weird tradition that the varsity team does at the end of every season,” Kleinegger explained. When the season comes to a close, the varsity kids run to a nearby Sheetz and buy a half gallon of chocolate milk each. “We each drink half a gallon of chocolate milk and run back to the school. The goal is to make it back without puking, and last year Tyler (Cox-Philyaw) and I were the only ones who won the game.” Cross country has not only been a source of health and fitness, but a place where Kleinegger has made many lifelong friends and memories.