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Unseen service
May 2, 2024
SOCCER STAR Dayne Bartscht ‘04, pictured on the right, was a star player and captain of the soccer team at Greenhills. “He was the guy you wanted on your team and the player that other teams loved to hate,” Associate Director of Admissions and former athletic director Eric Gajar said. “He was chippy, and he didn’t take anything from other people.”
Brewing it up
May 1, 2024

On your marks, get set, go

Members from the cross-country team run a half-marathon
RUNNING WITH STYLE Ava Kittendorf ‘24, Anika Bery ‘24, Henry Beck ‘26, and Lincoln Cha ‘24 (not pictured) get ready to run the race with some fun costumes to add to the experience. “It was so fun,” said Kittendorf. “I definitely want to run more long races like this in the future.”
RUNNING WITH STYLE Ava Kittendorf ‘24, Anika Bery ‘24, Henry Beck ‘26, and Lincoln Cha ‘24 (not pictured) get ready to run the race with some fun costumes to add to the experience. “It was so fun,” said Kittendorf. “I definitely want to run more long races like this in the future.”

On a crisp December morning, Anika Bery ‘24, Lincoln Cha ‘24, Ava Kittendorf ‘24, and Henry Beck ‘26 from the cross-country team embarked on a journey, pushed their limits, and formed a stronger bond through a shared goal: completing a half-marathon. 

These four runners have been running five-kilometer (three-mile) races throughout their high school careers, and some have been running for a large part of their lives, including Lincoln Cha ‘24. 

“I first started running in fifth grade,” said Cha. “When I joined cross country in high school, I didn’t realize how much it would impact my high school career.”

Cha came to Greenhills in ninth grade, and hit the ground running within the cross-country team. 

“When I joined the team, I was the only freshman on varsity,” said Cha. “That was a great experience and a great welcome to the school. I became a captain in my sophomore year, and had a goal to improve and build up what I already had.”

 Cha stayed focused on this goal and saw the rewards of improving, especially in his last two seasons. 

“I made it to states individually in junior year,” said Cha. “Our whole team made it to states during senior year, which was really fun.”

Unlike Cha, Ava Kittendorf ‘24 only started doing cross country in high school. 

“I had never run competitively until my freshman year,” said Kittendorf. “I just had a great time in my freshman year, and found my passion and excitement for running. Through the team, I’ve found my best friends and friendships that I will cherish forever.”

It was Bery’s idea to run a half-marathon. Bery knew that after completing her last high school cross-country season, she would want to challenge herself and some of her fellow teammates as a final hurrah.

“When Anika asked me to do this half-marathon with her, I was totally pumped,” said Kittendorf. “I knew it wouldn’t be easy, but I also knew that running with my best friends for the longest race of my life would be a great experience.”

A half-marathon consists of 13.1 miles, and most runners use a training schedule before the race in order to complete it. 

“We probably ran around four miles after school every day after the season ended,” said Kittendorf.  “It really helped that we were just coming out of cross-country season.”

Cha, on the other hand, trained for the race in his own way. 

“I would do long runs once or twice a week, which were around nine miles,” said Cha. “The longest I’ve ever run before running the half-marathon was 10 miles. Before, I thought that those three extra miles wouldn’t be too bad, but it was more tiring than I thought.”

Although running over 13 miles might feel like a daunting task to some, Bery, Kittendorf, Cha, and Beck found their own ways to have fun while doing it.

“We dressed up as the three little pigs and the big bad wolf,” said Kittendorf. “It was really funny and a great way to laugh and have fun during the race.”

During the race itself, these runners weren’t completely on their own. 

“10 miles into the race, I was starting to get really tired,” said Cha. “There was this huge hill I had to run up, but at the top, I saw my grandparents, some of my teammates, and some other family members of Anika and Ava. It was great motivation.”

Those weren’t the only people that were cheering these runners on, however. 

Head cross country coach Sara LeBlanc took her part in encouraging her runners. 

“When I learned that Anika, Ava, Henry, and Lincoln had this goal of running this huge race for fun, I got inspired,” said LeBlanc. “So, (middle school English teacher) Laurin Wolf, (former field hockey coach and psychology teacher) Liza, my husband and daughter, and I ran it with them as well, even though we were very behind them.”

LeBlanc, who has been coaching cross country for eight years, was in awe of the determination and commitment that these runners have put into their sport, noticing that they put in work outside of season, but also had fun with their friends while doing so. LeBlanc is particularly fond of the runner community at Greenhills as a whole. 

“Everybody supports each other, cheers each other on, and has fun together,” said LeBlanc. “This group is so goal-driven. They had a goal to make it to states this year for cross country, and they did. Anika, Ava, Henry, and Lincoln had a remarkable goal to run a half-marathon, and they achieved that as well. They have a full level of commitment.”

The average time for a half-marathon is around two hours. Bery, Kittendorf, and Beck ran the race in one hour and 48 minutes, with an eight-mile average pace. Cha ran the race in one hour and 27 minutes, with a six-minute and 40-second pace. 

“I’ve run many races in my life, and the finish is always important to me,” said Kittendorf. “When I crossed the finish line of this race, I think we were all in shock. None of us believed that we had just run a half-marathon.”

Looking forward, Bery, Kittendorf, Beck, and Cha have their new goal set in mind; a great spring season in Track & Field. 


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