For the third year in a row, West Stokes Kaitlyn Stone was named WPAC cross country runner of the year. The senior finished her season strong winning the conference championship and placing second in Saturday’s NCHSAA 2A state championship at Ivey Redmon in Kernersville.
“It’s definitely been tough having to come to terms with the fact my time with the cross country team is coming to an end. I really just wanted to make the most of our time together at that meet and see what I could do with the amazing competition that was there,” Stone said.
Stone made a name for herself beginning her freshman year at West. In ninth grade she was named all-conference in cross country, qualified for the state meet, and went on to make all-conference and all-region in outdoor track. Her sophomore season she was named WPAC cross country runner of the year, all-region and all-state, WPAC track runner of the year, all-region, and then qualified to run in the state 1600 in the 3200. Her junior season proved to be another success after being named cross country WPAC runner of the year, all-region and all-state. She went on to become all-state in the 3200 for indoor track, all-conference, regional champion in the 3200, and all-state in the 3200 as the state runner-up for outdoor track.
The athlete credits coach Benji Knox for training her to run at a competitive pace.
“He’s helped me develop because he honestly know what he’s doing when it comes to workouts. He works us hard, but he also knows when we need to back off and has a science to the tapering we do before big meets. We’re really lucky to have him,” she said.
On Saturday, runners from across the state laced up to compete in wet and muddy conditions.
“It was a huge factor as far as time goes. I got about a minute slower at the state meet than I had at regionals the Saturday before (18:38 at regionals, 19:33 at states) due to the rain and torn up course.”
Along with Stone, senior Josh Adkins finished in 12th place with a time of 17:18.92.
“This cross country season has definitely been the best of all four years. Not only because of how well workouts have gone but because of how tight the team is. It’s a family atmosphere that I’m really going to miss,” Stone said.
The standout athlete is now lasar focused on the upcoming indoor track season and outdoor in the spring.
“I definitely want to get both my mile and two mile time down, as well as see what we can do for our 4x800m team,” she said.
Amanda Dodson can be reached at 336-813-2426 or on Twitter at AmandaTDodson.