Some athletes succeed because they are destined and some because they are determined. But when you come across an athlete with both characteristics, you really have something special. Kaleb Wolfenden, a.k.a. “Wolf”, is finishing up his first cross country season and has already proven to his coaches, teammates, and fans that he has what it takes to become a very successful runner.
“This is his first year running cross country, and he definitely has blended very nicely since he’s been here,” says Martha Mazurkiewicz, head coach of the LHS boys and girls cross country team. “Kaleb is very driven, and it is really a pleasure to coach him. He will take direction; whatever we tell him to do, he will do.”
While his current personal record in the 5K sits right at 16 minutes, and his fastest mile time at 4:40, Wolfenden has impressive and realistic goals for the rest of his junior year.
“I want to maintain, but at some point this year, I want to break 16 minutes in the 5K,” Wolfenden says. “Hopefully, I can go around 9:30 in the two mile and around 4:20 in the mile. In the 800-meter, I’m trying to break two minutes.”
How did “Wolf” find himself in long distance racing in the first place? You may think he had some endurance background; however, he previously played football and basketball. After proving to have some speed on the track, Wolfenden was encouraged by his coaches to join the cross country team. Since then, he hasn’t looked back; only forward to cross a line before anybody else.
“His edge is that he’s always striving to do better,” Mazurkiewicz says. “He wants to be the best, and when he races, he races to win—to be number one.”
800m – 2:09.33
1600m – 4:40.45
3200m – 9:53.07
5K (xc) – 16:02.67
Keeping Wolfenden on his toes is his teammate Chance Roe, who was also featured among the pages of In the Game during his junior cross country season. Chance has had an impressive season as well, including a 16:44 finish in Tallahassee, Fla. that featured him stealing second from a competitor in the last 100 meters at the Cougar XC Challenge. Chance also snagged a new PR of 16:27 at the 14th Annual Tift Invitational.
Unfortunately, though, Chance had to overcome a loss during the beginning of his season. His friend and former teammate William Wade II passed on August 31, which shook the entire Lowndes community. Wade was a straight-A student who participated on the football and track team. While Wade’s loss affected him deeply this season, Chance found a way to dedicate his season to his friend.
“He was a year ahead of me, but he ran with me a lot,” Roe says. It really destroyed my mentality, and I lost a lot of sleep, but I’ve also been pushing myself more at the same time. I work harder and try to beat everybody. That’s what he would want for me. He liked watching me run.”
Roe still has one track season ahead of him at LHS; then he hopes to compete at a D-I school for track and cross country while studying civil engineering.
Our prayers here at In the Game are with Roe and all other friends and family members of William Wade II.
Lowndes High School Cross Country | Kaleb “Wolf” Wolfenden | Junior
Written by Sarah Turner
Photography by Lindsi Jones
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