One for the Record Books

St. Charles High School runners compete at a record-setting State Championship


Nicklas Johnston

Thomas Doss finishes his record-setting run at Gans Creek Cross Country Course in Columbia

by Nicklas Johnston, Staff Writer

The record books were rewritten after the cross country team competed at the State Championship on Nov. 9. 

The highlight came from the boys’ race. Top runner Thomas Doss ended his career on a high note by setting a new school record, running the 5000 meter race in a time of 16:14.

“I’m confused. When I was running, I didn’t know how good I was doing,” Doss said. “I didn’t really know what place I was at when I was running or what time, so it feels kind of weird.”

This feat did not come easy to him, though.

“At the beginning of the race, I was a bit more calm and slow because I didn’t want to go out and die,” Doss said. “I heard my coach yelling at me that I was going way too slow, so that’s when I started moving.”

After the first 1000 meters, Doss was in sixtieth place. He kept climbing up the ranks all the way through the finish line where he passed enough competitors to finish with All-State Honors.

“He has shown again and again how strong he is and how he can come back in a race,” Head Coach Paul Wright said. “From one kilometer to the end, he was picking off runners and would have finished in the top ten if the race had been 100 meters longer.”

Doss’ fourteenth place finish earned him All-State honors. This was the first time that a runner from St. Charles High School received All-State honors in cross country since Arthur and Alfred Chan in 2014.

“Before the race, I told Thomas to relax and just go run like he has all year long,” Wright said. “I also told him that he is 100 percent a top 25 athlete and that he would cross the line as an All-State Athlete. Cross country gives you back what you put in. Thomas earned his All-State medal by working hard from the day track season ended in May. He trained all summer and never missed a practice. He hit all the splits in workouts and his program set him up for a low 16-minute race.”

Along with Doss, the girls’ team qualified for the State Championship. They were expecting to be a top ten team, but something happened that did not help that cause. The team decided to go to Golden Corral, which ended up getting the number four runner, Virginia Werth, feeling sick and not able to run the next day.

“She has requested to not eat at Golden Corral the night before state,” Wright said. 

At the end, the girls got fourteenth place overall.

“We’re all pretty close to Virginia and since she wasn’t there, it kind of felt like we were missing something very important and we all loved her,” senior Natalia Sisomphane said. I wish she would have run, but she was sick. I probably would have run a little better if she was on the team.”

All these events happened at a new venue. Every year since 1976, the State Championship had been held in Jefferson City, but this year, it was held at Gans Creek Cross Country Course in Columbia.

“It’s much better,” Sisomphane said.  “Since it’s less hilly, you can get faster times. It’s more open so they can fit more people and it’s not as crowded.” 

Overall, the team left with great optimism.

I thought the athletes represented their school with great class and pride,” Wright said.