Cross Country senior sets new records, gains team, community support

Jansen Hess, Sports Editor

On Sept. 15 at the Blue Valley Springs Invitational, cross country runner senior Colton Donahue broke the school’s 5K record that was set 19 years ago. At this meet, he finished his race with a time of 16:10, beating the previous record by four seconds.
Then on Sept 22. at the Rim Rock Invitational, Donahue beat his own record by 40 seconds, making him the fastest boy in Kansas.
“It’s an amazing feeling,” he said. “It’s such a big accomplishment for me knowing that I did it this early in the season.”
Donahue said this feeling is incomparable to previous feeling after breaking the school record by four seconds.
“It’s a way better feeling knowing that I have accomplished getting the fastest time in the state,” he said.
This is Donahue’s second year as a member of the cross country team.
Coach Diana Huber said she has seen amazing improvement in Donahue. She said he was the fastest runner towards the end of last season, but that didn’t happen until EKL.
“It’s really amazing to see him evolve from a top JV runner in general to the fastest in the state,” she said.
Donahue said staying with the lead runners allowed him to maintain a solid pace.
“I knew that if I stayed with the main group that they would push me and that they would pace me for the race and I would get the time that I wanted,” he said.
Donahue said his success comes from attending every practice, listening to his coaches, and working out over the summer with a focus on his speed and endurance.
“Running over the summer helped a lot,” he said. “It gave me a good base going into the season and working hard at practices and working on my conditioning to keep my pace at where it needs to be.”
Donahue said he surprised to be at the level he is at this early in the season.
“I thought that I could be the best when it came to state,” he said. “But this early in the season I had no expectations of having the fastest time and being the best.”
Huber said she thinks Donahue has the potential to beat his record again.
“It’s just great to watch him do all this because he’s worked so hard and then to break his record by so much is even more amazing,” she said.