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MARION: Marion runners hope to break the wall

Staff writer

For Marion’s first-year cross-country coach Jason Hett, seven years of previous experience coaching cross-country has given him a mantra: Break the wall.

“We have talked a lot about what it takes to break down our mental wall that tells us to stop or tells us to slow down,” Hett said. “We will challenge our guys each day to get out of their comfort zones and break down the wall that tells them they can’t do something. The work that they put in will help our runners achieve that goal.”

Hett, who also is the district’s athlete director, has four top returning athletes: junior Gavin Wasmuth, seniors Tristen Dye and Christopher Beery, and sophomore Luke Wessel. Three of them qualified for state last year.

Other key players this year are freshmen Eli Klenda, Harrison Beery, Owen White, Keenan Lange, Sam Calvert, and Jaxon Salsbury, sophomore Logan Amos, and senior Gabe Hasenbank.

The first goal for the country team is to be champions of character.

The second goal is to break the wall.

Their third, fourth, and fifth goals for this season are to win it all.

“This group started in June with the goal to be a state-contender team, putting in miles, running sprints, attacking hills, and getting into the weight room,” Hett said. “They have continued that work early into this season. We are looking forward to seeing what this group can accomplish.”

The Warriors’ first meet of the season was Thursday in Abilene.

Five finished in the top 17, with all five recording times of less than 12 minutes at the two-mile mark.

“This is what it means to break the wall,” Hett said.

Wasmuth placed sixth against heavy competition. Wessel finished 10th, Klenda 14th, Beery 15th, and Dye 17th.

Overall, the team took second in the meet.

Last modified Sept. 8, 2022

 

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