Race to the Finish Line

Senior competes in final cross country meet

Charley Thomas, Publication Editor

For the 4th consecutive year, senior Tori Wingrove qualified for the state cross country competition set to take place on Oct. 30 in Wichita. As she prepares for her final run with BVXC, Wingrove remembers what it was like to place first in the event her sophomore year. 

“It was really scary because before state, people were coming up to me because I was projected to win and asking ‘So are you going to win?’” she said. “Obviously I didn’t know if I was going to win or not, but after I won, it was fun.” 

Though the BVXC team fell short of qualifying, senior Ellie Graham and sophomore Noah Summers will also compete individually in the state competition, which Wingrove predicts will have strong opposing runners on the girls’ side. 

“This year, we’ve got a lot of good competition,” she said. “There’s this one girl — a sophomore at Olathe North. She’s insane. She’s going to win 100%, but after that, I don’t know what’s going to happen.”

Each year, Wingrove has experienced roughly the same race-day routine.

“We drive down the night before, and then we wake up, eat breakfast and go down to the course a little bit early,” she said. “An hour before the race, we start warming up, and we put our bibs and chips on. Then, we get to the starting line.” 

After competing in an altered season her junior year due to the COVID-19 Pandemic, Wingrove asserted that her senior season was a decisive favorite. 

“We got to bring back a lot of traditions that we didn’t get to have last year, and we had a really good senior class,” she said. 

Her positive memories with her teammates, Wingrove stressed, will make the end of her BVXC career bittersweet. 

“Before, when my season would end, I’d be lowkey excited because I got a little break,” she said. “Now, I’m never going to do it again at the high school level, so it’s sad.”

Although Wingrove set a personal record at regionals with a 5K time of 18:19 and is looking to “kill the competition” at state, she admits the BVXC team is not all business. 

“My favorite part of cross country is the people — we have a lot of unique personalities,” she said. “They do a lot of unique stuff — [seniors] Lance [Philgreen] and Henry [Hornug] have a Michelle Obama book that they read to me while I run.”

State competition aside, Wingrove will be sad to see her running career at BV come to a close. 

“When I was a freshman, everyone was like, ‘It goes by so fast,’” she said. “I was like, ‘OK, shut up. That’s so cliche,’ but it’s true.”