Golden Hawk runners pass on a special culture

By Jeff Yoder
Posted 11/17/21

The morning of the state meet is special. 

Jogging the curves and hills of the course at Kennedy Park on a cool October morning, the qualifying runners experience a mix of satisfaction and …

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Golden Hawk runners pass on a special culture

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The morning of the state meet is special. 

Jogging the curves and hills of the course at Kennedy Park on a cool October morning, the qualifying runners experience a mix of satisfaction and anticipation at the same time. 

Some use the last few hours to hype themselves up.

“I told the kids last night and they laughed about it,” Mid-Prairie coach Mark Hostetler said, “you see a lot of teams, they get all excited when they’re here warming up, they whoop and holler.

“And I said, you know, it doesn’t matter what you do (that morning). You warm up, but you’ve got to know in your heart that you put in the effort all year long. You can try to motivate yourself. But if you don’t get that work in and get in shape, you’re not going to be here.”

The final results on Saturday confirmed what everyone in that room already knew on Friday night. The Golden Hawks had put in the work. 

Entering the 2007 season, the Mid-Prairie cross country program had never seen a boys or girls team qualify for state. The Mid-Prairie boys have reached the state meet in 10 out of the last 15 seasons with a state championship in 2016. The Golden Hawk girls qualified for the first time in 2014, starting a string of eight straight appearances with five state championship trophies. 

The foundation for the program’s success was laid years earlier by the dedication of runners like Chelsea (Anderson) Parrott  in 2005, 06, 07 and Sofia (Chmaruk) Adams in 2008, 09, 10 and 11. 

Anna and Marie Hostetler were two of the first runners to train consistently year round. They won individual state titles in 2016 and 2017, and began the run of team championships in 2017. 

For the Golden Hawk boys, Floyd Evans also put in the work year round and helped the Golden Hawks take the state championship in 2016, followed up by a runner-up finish the next year. 

Mid-Prairie has the potential to continue its success next season as four sophomore girls and three freshman boys joined the six Golden Hawk seniors on the course during the past state championship races. 

“It started with a group of kids that wanted to stay together and work hard,”Hostetler said after Mid-Prairie left the state meet with a championship trophy for the sixth straight season. 

“To be here year in and year out, you have to do something that is so different than what a lot of kids are willing to do.”

Mid-Prairie’s elite runners don’t spend a lot of time watching television, Hostetler said. 

“They hang out together and they run hard together,” he said. “That’s their life.”

The benefits they reap go beyond medals and trophies. 

“It’s a special kind of a life when you know that you’ve worked hard, and you’ve done it together,” Hostetler said. “They have made friendships that a lot of people don’t get a chance to make. 

“In anything difficult, whether it’s military or working together somewhere, you make friends that are close, because you’ve done some hard things together. That to me is probably more important than being here and winning — it’s the friendships that they make for life. Because they’ve been together all year, day after day.”

The athletes that have passed through the Mid-Prairie cross country program haven’t just demonstrated how to work hard, they’ve created a culture of encouragement as well. 

“It’s a special atmosphere,” Hostetler said.” One of the things I tell them is, this is where you want to be — where you know that everybody’s got your back. And they’re not going to say anything bad about you, they’re going to say good things about you.”

“In our culture, what’s said a lot are these funny things that are kind of jabs at people. It’s funny, it’s not really harsh, but if you get that all the time, it’s not real helpful. It’s funny and it has its place... but most of what they say to each other is encouragement and that’s really not very common.

“We all need that life, we all need this place where we can go and somebody says, you know, you’re alright. And the kids do it with each other all the time — they say it every day.”

 

A complete list of Mid-Prairie's state-qualifying teams

‘07  |  Mid-Prairie boys  |  11th

16. Aaron Stockstell 12 16:46

44. Drew Frees 12 17:17

70. Justin Hochstetler 9 17:48

92. Nick TeBockhorst 11 18:18

98. Patrick Hussey 12 18:32

108. Shane Schwartz 11 18:50

116. Colton Schwartz 10 19:03

‘08  |  Mid-Prairie boys  |  15th

52. Nick TeBockhorst 12 17:34

62. Tyler Asbe 11 17:45

81. Justin Hochstetler 10 18:01

84. Cody Miller 12 18:03

92. Quinn Hollan 11 18:17

114. Peter Schwartz 9 18:59

120. Colton Schwartz 11 19:50

‘09  |  Mid-Prairie boys  |  8th

51. Colton Schwartz 11 17:52

55. Justin Hochstetler 11 17:56

58. Peter Schwartz 10 17:58

60. Nate Stone 12 18:01

75. Quinn Hollan 12 18:16

80. Tyler Asbe 12 18:22

93. Alex Thurman 11 18:38

‘12  |  Mid-Prairie boys  |  12th

55. Jared Draper 10 17:26

57. Ryan Errthum 9 17:27

76. Ty Feigenspan 11 17:46

78. Jake O’Donnell 12 17:47

94. Evan Wild 11 18:08

107. Zeb Schwartz 11 18:26

110. Wyatt Cady 11 18:35

‘13 |  Mid-Prairie boys  |  7th

45. Jared Draper 11 17:25

51. Ryan Errthum 10 17:31

56. Ty Feigenspan 12 17:37

61. Zeb Schwartz 12 17:44

88. Andrew Schwartz 9 18:17

94. Jonah Van Roekel 12 18:27

116. Evan Wild 12 19:03

‘15  |  Mid-Prairie boys  |  4th

22. Peyton Miller 10 17:15

23. Luke Sigler 12 17:15

37. Ryan Errthum 12 17:36

44. Floyd Evans 10 17:42

69. Andrew Schwartz 11 18:04

87. Brent Foster 11 18:19

115. Marshal Teets 10 18:57

‘16  |  Mid-Prairie boys  |  1st

17. Peyton Miller 11 17:02

19. Zach Pettit 11 17:06

21. Floyd Evans 11 17:10

45. Marshal Teets 11 17:37

60. Quinn Schmidt 10 17:54

70. Brent Foster 12 18:01

120. Andrew Schwartz 12 19:06

‘17  |  Mid-Prairie boys  |  2nd

9. Peyton Miller 12 16:46

10. Floyd Evans 12 16:47

18. Zach Pettit 12 17:03

39. Quinn Schmidt 11 17:27

49. Marshal Teets 12 17:41

69. Miles Burrows 11 17:55

101. Cary Schaefer 12 18:27

‘20  |  Mid-Prairie boys  |  6th

33. Jamie Stutzman 12 18:02

39. Lucas Bontrager 12 18:10

60. Nathan Wallington 10 18:24

63. Chandler Hershberger 11 18:25

77. Thaddeus Shetler 11 18:38

106. Mose Yoder 10 19:18

136. Daniel Rodgers 9 20:36

‘21  |  Mid-Prairie boys  |  6th

14. Thaddeus Shetler 12 16:55

35. Emmett Swartzentruber 9 17:29

42. Chandler Hershberger 12 17:41

72. Preston Yutzy 9 18:04

100. Jayse Yoder 9 18:26

116. Nathan Wallington 11 18:49

128. Robert Nagy 12 19:14

‘14 | Mid-Prairie girls | 6th (3K)

6. Anna Hostetler 9 15:38

24. Maddi Zahradnek 11 16:13

30. Abby Tornow 10 16:22

70. Greta Schmidt 10 17:25

77. Calli Shaw 10 17:38

78. Hannah Van Roekel 11 17:39

99. Shelby Zahradnek 9 18:31

‘15  |  Mid-Prairie girls  |  8th 

14. Anna Hostetler 10 19:48

58. Greta Schmidt 12 21:09

60. Maddi Zahradnek 12 21:13

68. Hannah Van Roekel 12 21:17

107. Kessa Jones 9 22:21

120. Abby Tornow 10 22:54

121 Kate Cavanagh 9 22:58

‘16  |  Mid-Prairie girls  |  3rd

1. Anna Hostetler 11 17:57

2. Marie Hostetler 9 18:15

55. Greta Schmidt 12 21:07

58. Abby Tornow 12 21:09

77. Kessa Jones 10 21:35

79. Kyleigh Graham 9 21:40

95. Abbagail Evans 9 22:12

‘17  |  Mid-Prairie girls  |  1st

1. Marie Hostetler 10 17:51

2. Anna Hostetler 12 18:06

10. Ana Fleming 9 19:43

37. Moriah Brase 11 20:50

38. Kate Cavanagh 11 20:51

45. Abbagail Evans 10 20:56

54. Kessa Jones 11 21:17

‘18  |  Mid-Prairie girls  |  1st

1. Marie Hostetler 11 18:02

21. Mitzi Evans 9 20:32

22. Ana Fleming 10 20:32

39. Moriah Brase 12 21:00

60. Kate Cavanagh 12 21:24

85. Angelina Evans 11 22:16

97. Kessa Jones 12 22:34

‘19  |  Mid-Prairie girls  |  1st

1. Marie Hostetler 12 17:58

15. Ana Fleming 11 19:46

18. Mitzi Evans 11 19:53

22. Abbagail Evans 12 20:07

33. Sydney Yoder 10 20:31

49. Angelina Evans 12 20:59

63. Jaden Yoder 10 21:15

‘20  |  Mid-Prairie girls  |  1st

1. Danielle Hostetler 9 19:08

3. Jaden Yoder 11 19:38

8. Mitzi Evans 11 19:56

11. Sydney Yoder 11 20:02

33. Ana Fleming 12 21:16

34. Phoebe Shetler 9 21:16

36. Abby Fleming 9 21:19

‘21  |  Mid-Prairie girls  |  1st 

1. Danielle Hostetler 10 18:27

7. Sydney Yoder 12 19:22

13. Jaden Yoder 12 19:41

16. Mitzi Evans 12 19:59

21. Abby Fleming 10 20:11

29. Phoebe Shetler 10 20:26

80. Annika Poll 10 21:30

 

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