Morning Sun
  • Headed for Topeka

  • Southeast senior Steven Porter has been selected to participate in the Kansas Shrine Bowl Cross Country All-Star Race this July.

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  • Southeast senior Steven Porter has been selected to participate in the Kansas Shrine Bowl Cross Country All-Star Race this July.
    During a recognition Monday afternoon at Southeast High School, Porter was asked the $64,000 question: WHY DOES HE RUN?
    “I run because running helps me with my life,” Porter said. “If I have a struggle, I’ll run and it just helps me to ease out of my struggle and I don’t have any worries. It makes me feel free.”
    Porter, who plans to attend Coffeyville Community College, still has track season on the horizon and the Shrine race in late July (July 27, Topeka). He was the lead runner this past fall on the Lancer cross country squad which qualified for the Class 3A big race.
    Before the season, head coach Korey Kimrey talked about the hard work seniors Porter, Trevor Johnson and Tyler Fleck were putting in and how they were setting a great example for the other runners.
    “We had some runners that were hitting in the 50 mileage for a week and that’s a six-day week a lot of times,” Kimrey said. “They don’t sustain that throughout the season. That’s the base-mileage portion of the season early on, then it transfers into higher-intensity work.
    “Steven was one of those runners that worked hard. Our whole senior group did and it paid off for them. We had the best finish in school history for cross country, top 10 at state. We wanted to improve on our past two (state) performances and Steven was a big part of that. He was the tip of the sword for us at the state meet. He finished 26th.”
    Porter, Johnson and Fleck finished 3-4-7 at regionals, the best regional finish of any group of three runners at state.
    “You can’t describe when you see your team line up with the best teams in the state of Kansas,” Kimrey said. “You’ve coached them from freshman year on up and you see how much they’ve wanted it and how much it’s finally arrived for them. It’s really something that makes it worthwhile. I’m as proud of them as any I will ever coach.”
    Kimrey answered one question: HOW DO YOU PUNISH AN ATHLETE WHO DOESN’T MIND RUNNING?
    “There are ways and one of them is called the burpee (squat thrust),” Kimrey said. “The burpee, I’m sure that somebody can demonstrate. It’s basically, you drop to all fours, you squat and kick your legs out, do a full pushup nose to the ground and then pull your legs back in one motion and then jump as high as you can. That’s just one. The way to get an athlete to pay attention is maybe after a rep, 5-10 burpees with no other recovery and continue to rep. It doesn’t take very many of those (burpees).”
    Page 2 of 2 - Porter and Fleck are currently raising money for a July pilgrimage to Australia, planning to participate in the Down Under Sports cross country program.
    The Gold Coast Marathon takes place every July in Queensland (July 6-7 this year with the 10K, 5.7K, 2K and 4K races on the first day), bringing in nearly 25,000 competitors. Down Under athletes will compete in the 5.7K Challenge. Porter’s mother, Markel Porter, said that her son will need a week to recover.
    Other distance runners from this corner of the state headed for Topeka include Jonny Adamson of St. Mary’s Colgan, Jeremiah Jones of Pittsburg and Paige White of Baxter Springs.
    “I’m confident that Steven will do his best, which is what I care about as a coach,” Kimrey said. “He’s been working really hard not only through cross country but all winter long. He’s been running and now he’s got track season coming up. The most important thing is that he gets to do that healthy and gets to show up for the race in good condition. I know Steven will do just fine. I’m not going to predict a place, though.”

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