Player Profile: Shadrach Witham

Margo Hermann, Assistant Sports Editor

Shadrach Witham, senior, Boys Cross Country team captain. Photo by Grant Huson.

This November, Shadrach Witham went to State for cross country. As a senior, Witham leads his team as a captain and consistently ranks highly at cross country meets. But when Witham first joined the sport in his freshman year, he still had a long way to go until success.

After trying many other sports, Witham decided to join cross country due to his experience running long distance during the track season.

“I wasn’t athletic enough to do other sports, so I decided to run. It’s not very fun at first, but then you start getting good,” Witham said.

While at first, he struggled, Witham began to find his footing in the sport.

“Freshman year, I was probably one of the slowest runners. I was just there; I didn’t have any friends on the team. I slowed down going from a ninth grader to a tenth grader. But I came back junior year and killed it. That brought back the joys of running. It felt like two different sports,” Witham said.

With a change in attitude and a lot of hard work, Witham began to improve. By junior year, Witham had become a competitor.

“I’m proud of qualifying for state and getting a personal record is a really good feeling. It’s when you know all of your work has paid off, it’s a good reward,” Witham said.

Beyond athletics, cross country has had an impact on Witham and his approach to life. Witham says the experience taught him perseverance and effort.

“The coaches and my teammates, they’ve encouraged me to persevere. They have showed me that hard work and giving your everything is important. That just being there to be there, you don’t gain anything from that. Learning to apply myself is probably the biggest thing I’ve learned from cross country,” Witham said.

While Witham is still uncertain about his post-high school plans, cross country has become something he cares about.

“After high school, I’d like to continue running if a school wants me,” Witham said.