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Cross-country runner picks up second state championship…

Ryan Hoffman | Staff Writer

Junior Zach Wills captured his second consecutive state championship on November 7, finishing at 15 minutes, 45.11 seconds. Although Wills, who came in four seconds before the runner-up, said that the win was a rush, the victory fell short of his ultimate goal.”

“Initially I was really excited and pumped up that I got the championship,” Wills said. “But I was immediately concerned about the team…. My goal was to get a championship, but we fell short of that.”

While he was disappointed to not be standing with his team on the podium, Wills said that his success, and accolades that have accompanied them, continue to encourage him.

“A lot of people get caught up and want more and more,” Wills said. “But sometimes I need to sit back and realize what I have accomplished. It motivates me to do more, and I feel blessed to have so much support.”

Varsity Men’s Cross Country Coach Tom Rapp said he believes that Wills’ success all starts with his faith.

“He believes very strongly that God has blessed him with these abilities, and he uses them to his advantage,” Rapp said.

Along with his faith, Rapp said he sees a very humble competitor in Wills, who is concerned more with the well-being of the team than his own personal achievements.

“He would sacrifice individual awards for the team,” Rapp said. “That’s a big part of him.”

Rapp said that Wills shows strong commitment to the details necessary to sustain high-level performances.

“Certainly, he has a great work ethic,” Rapp said. “He does a good job of taking care of the little things that you have to do to stay healthy so you can train at that level.”

Going into his senior year and last high school season, Wills said he is confident that he will continue to lead the team. Wills said he is also thinking about the athletes of the future and understands the importance of looking ahead.

“I want to lay down the foundation for future cross country runners,” Wills said.

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