PHOTO: Edgemont’s first Cross Country Team in 24 years stands ready for the Wall Cross Country Meet held earlier this season. Standing from left to right are Markus Aschwanden, JJ Ostenson, Jackie Heisler, Keaton Darrow, and John Heisler, along with Coach Jason Long.
By Garland Wright
EDGEMONT – After a 24-year hiatus, Cross Country has returned to Edgemont High School. A significant moment for the school, this initiative aimed to rekindle the cross-country tradition and etch a new chapter in the annals of athletic achievement. Despite starting with just five dedicated members, the team, comprising juniors Markus Aschwanden, Keaton Darrow, and seniors John Heisler, JJ Ostenson, and Jackie Heisler, demonstrated remarkable zeal to build the program and revive Edgemont’s presence in the competitive world of cross-country.
“The student-athletes started the year by resurrecting our cross-country program. Their goals of self-improvement have led to them setting a great example for future Moguls,” explains Head Cross Country Coach Jason Long.
Every step taken by the team, every stride made, is a testament to their commitment to improving their personal record. The camaraderie among the team members and their collective effort to rise above limitations proves to be the cornerstone of their progress.
Subsequently, each Edgemont Cross Country team member has improved since their first meet, with the last meet at Wall being their most successful. Each student set their personal best record. Furthermore, Keaton Darrow came in fourth in the Wall Cross Country Meet on October 3, 2023, with a time of 19:14.4.
“It felt pretty good. Right off the bat, I was tired after having to sprint the last twenty meters, but right after my mom told me I got fourth, I was pretty surprised because I came in eleventh, but somehow, I finished fourth. That just really felt inspiring, and how a little short kid (referring to himself) can outrun some of those big, tall kids still floors me,” states Edgemont Junior Keaton Darrow.
“I got involved because I wanted to stay in shape for the basketball season, and it is another fun team sport I can be involved in,” explains Edgemont Senior JJ Ostenson. He goes on to say, “I’ve learned how to run long distances properly, such as running heel to toe and how to pace myself.” In the most recent meet, Ostenson shaved three minutes off his personal record.
Starting with only five committed members, including juniors Markus Aschwanden and Keaton Darrow and seniors John Heisler, JJ Ostenson, and Jackie Heisler, the team strives to revive Edgemont’s presence in competitive cross-country. Head Coach Jason Long commended their self-improvement goals, positioning them as examples for future athletes.