Smiling and Sprinting


Kaleah Carter

At the districts cross country meet in Independence, Makayla Gasper (10), Karsyn Welcher (11), Kaleah Carter (12), and Keara Emerson (9) support West Delaware runners. “The atmosphere was pretty intense, [and] everybody wanted to do good,” Welcher said.

Faced with signs like “RUN LIKE YOU STOLE SOMETHING!!” and “You’re a freakin’ rock star!” cross country runners cracked smiles competing at districts in Independence on Oct. 24.

Seven fans cheered on West Delaware runners with signs. One sign holder, Karsyn Welcher (11), said that Jordyn Zewen, one of the cross country coaches, hauled in the signs and handed them out to fans.

“They were supposed to help motivate the runners to keep pushing forward and to run their race as best as they could,” Welcher said.

Katie McGrane (11) and Shaun DeMoss cheer on West Delaware runners at the district cross country meet in Independence. “Race environments are always so high energy, and I loved being able to see my teammates’ faces light up when they hear us cheering,” McGrane said.

“It definitely helps make a better atmosphere,” said Anna Werner (11), who held a sign at the meet. “It’s refreshing to hear friendly voices cheering them on instead of just trees.”

With a sign saying, “I wanna see you puke at the finish line!” Makayla Gasper (10) said she helped the runners think about something else while running.

“It helped us feel more supportive by having something visual to help cheer on our runners that worked so hard all year long for this race,” Gasper said.