Will Kracaw has the honor of being chosen as this issue’s Athlete of the Issue.
His dedication to cross country over the past four years has given him a respectable reputation for all that he does.
Kracaw did not always have a passion for running. He discovered it without anticipation.
“I have really bad hand-eye coordination. So, I did track when I was at the junior high. That’s what got me into it. That’s when I realized and decided that I liked running,” said Kracaw. “I liked the mile a lot in fifth grade and when I did it for P.E. I always liked going to the golf course for the mile cross country race. That’s when I decided that I liked running that. Then, running distance track in eighth grade it kind of just slowly turned into me doing cross country.”
As you would imagine, it takes a lot of determination, motivation, and effort to excel in a sport that requires much agility.
“I think it’s a lot of self-motivation, you have to be self-motivated but I've had the same coach for four years so it's like she knows me well enough that she knows all those little things what to do,” said Kracaw.
Rightfully so, his achievements on his trail to greatness came with perseverance.
He credits his coaches very extensively for all that they have done to guide him throughout the years of his cross-country high school career.
“I’d probably have to say it’s the head coach Kathy Norcutt. She’s probably the reason why I got that drive to be a really good athlete and running,” said Kracaw. “I’d say my freshman year is when she helped me; she thought it was a good idea to train over the winter. She’s been out there ever since my freshman year, helping me with training and getting ready for the track.”
“Running has shaped me a lot because it has been one of the most prominent things in my life for four years,” stated Kracaw.
Will’s peers are very proud of him and his coaches are even more pleased with his progress. The benefits from cross-country that Kracaw has acquired through participation in the team will serve him beyond high school.
“He loves running he loves the goals he sets for himself he wants to do it when he leaves to college and I think he set it up himself, in his mind that he was going to do well and he has done that,” said coach Kristin Flanders.
It goes without saying that Kracaw has made tremendous progress but it won't end there.
“I think Will has grown a lot, he’s matured a lot as a person, and he has matured in his running abilities. It's a love for him. We are very proud of him, Will has worked very hard for the past three and a half years so this is his season,” said Flanders, “This year, he set his mind to accomplishing a goal and he’s doing it.”
Kracaw also keeps himself in shape year-round.
“I get two weeks off in December and two weeks off in May. Other than that, I’m always running. I ride my mountain bike, run, and hike too,” said Kracaw.
Kracaw’s inspirations are Olympic runners, Steve Prefontaine and Meb Keflezighi who love the sport just as much as he does.
“Steve Prefontaine, he was a really famous distance runner who went to the Olympics and he was still in his early twenties and he died in a car accident. He’s like this really worshipped cross country runner, he has all of the best quotes. Meb Keflezighi is another guy I look up to,” said Kracaw.
Kracaw is the only one in his family that has advanced in the running sport and is proud of what he has accomplished.
“I’m the only one actually. My cousins did cross country in high school but I’m the one who turned out to be a pretty decent runner. I’ve qualified for regionals every year and this is the third year that I’ve qualified for state. I got thirteenth my sophomore year at state, then I got seventh last year at state. Which still surprises my parents because they tell me I sucked at running when I was younger. I’m hoping that I get third or fourth this year at state,” said Kracaw.