It’s been about two weeks since the Georgia High School Association State Cross Country Championships.
Chris Wilder’s foot might still be hurting.
It’s true that the Greenbrier High School senior’s third-place individual finish in the Class AAAA event in Carrollton was impressive by its own accord.
Add in that he was presented not only with a medal afterward, but also with one of his shoes, and it becomes increasingly apparent just how impressive the performance was.
That’s right; Wilder ran the entire race with one shoe.
Cross country competitors are some of the most disciplined athletes around. The elite ones train by running as much as 60 miles each week.
Knowing how much work he had put in and that this was the final race of his high school career, Wilder thought nothing of the dilemma that faced him at the start of the 5K race.
When a fellow racer stepped on his heel and dislodged his shoe near the starting line, he knew stopping to put it back on and lace it back up would take far too many precious seconds.
So he just left it there and traversed the course, which sometimes featured rocky terrain and pavement.
Wilder finished third in 16 minutes, 16.40 seconds, roughly 10 seconds behind the state champion.
Now, I don’t know how many seconds a fully shoed pair of feet is worth vs. going barefoot. I’m pretty sure they don’t make a chart that shows the conversion rate between the two.
What I am fairly confident of is that running with one shoe and one sock isn’t an ideal style.
Cross country runners are typically quite determined athletes.
If anybody doubted that fact, this feat proves it.
Wilder’s foot might still be hurting, but at least he’s got a great story to tell.
Transition easy for Bowles
It didn’t take Anna Bowles long to make the transition from the high school standard of 5K to the women’s college standard of 6K.
Earlier this month, the former Lakeside High School cross country star ran a 6K personal record of 21:35 to finish as the University of Georgia’s third runner at the Southeastern Conference Cross Country Championship.
A multiple state champion in high school, Bowles qualified for the All-SEC Freshman First Team with her performance in Knoxville, Tenn.