KC Metro Meet

The Meet
Olivia Miller

On Saturday, October 5, the cross country team ran at the Kansas City Metro meet in Peculiar, Missouri. The KC Metro meet is one of the last combined team meets of the season. The race was five kilometers long. Over 40 teams competed Saturday. Ten BVN runners received medals awarded to the top 60 participants in each race.

Senior Sarah Springer said that the KC Metro meet, commonly known as the Raypec meet among runners, is her favorite of the season because she always runs a personal record (PR).

“I always PR at this race,” Springer said. “It’s always the first cold race of the season, which is perfect weather to run in.”

Runners interviewed said that the weather would have been perfect if not for the mud and the drizzle that forced the junior varsity girls and boys races to combine. There were weather concerns that worried race officials as to whether all the races could get in before the rain hit, but the rain stayed on the horizon for most of the races.

“It’s a little muddy, but… I like mud.” Springer said.

According to junior Frank Barton, Raypec is one of the hardest courses to run during the cross country season, although it is one of the most scenic. The starting line begins divided into boxes separating the teams. The difficulty of the Raypec course is that the chute is very short. The space for 50 teams quickly narrows into the space of two or three in about 200 meters. BVN coaches Ridgeway and O’Connell warned runners ahead of time about the dangers of such a narrow chute. So many runners in such a small space can make it hard to pass people, and runners can get caught in the slow-moving crowd around the bends.

This year was freshman Hudson Brown’s first Raypec meet. He said it was an interesting course to run compared to the others he has run this season.

“It was [an] interesting [course]. [There were] lots of hills,” Brown said.

The recent rainy weather affected the outcomes and times of athletes’ races. Runners recounted there were at least five points during the race where the course simply turned to mud. 

Sophomore AJ Himstedt said he was happy he didn’t fall in the mud, like many others did.

“Thankfully I never slid anywhere. I slipped once jumping over a mud pile, but that was the worst that happened. [Running] spikes definitely helped.”

During their varsity girls race, freshman Caroline Welhoelter and junior Charlotte Ganter challenged themselves by running together. 

Charlotte Ganter placed 40th in the varsity girls race ran her 5k in 21:09. 

“It was kind of slower than I wanted to be, I think because of all the mud but I’m still happy with it. I know I pushed myself. For a while me and Caroline kind of worked together. So that was nice.”

Welhoelter said she joined the cross country team because it has a fun atmosphere.

“I like going to the pasta parties [before meets] and hanging out after the meet,” she said. “It’s a good way to improve your running time.”

When questioned what it was like being the only freshman runner on the BVN girls varsity team, Welhoelter said, “We’re all kind of just one team. It doesn’t really matter what team you’re on.”

The Raypec meet was the fifth meet of the cross country season. There is only one more meet left in the season until regionals.

With the season drawing to a close, coach Mark Fancher said he has enjoyed spending his afternoons coaching the team.

“We got a lot of people out [this year] and it’s been fun coaching everybody [each] day. [We’re all] working hard and trying to get better each and every day.”

When asked if he had anything else to comment about the cross country season, Fancher concluded with, “Go Mustangs.”

The Viral Video
Emily Mrkvicka

What started out as a joke to make his cross country teammates laugh quickly grew into millions of views and a shoutout on Instagram from Dallas Cowboys owner and Shark Tank star Mark Cuban for senior Hanush Bareddy. Considering it was his first year on the cross country team, Bareddy wasn’t expecting to make waves he did. Or, should we say, splashes. 

As he lined up with the rest of his C-Team runners on Raymore Peculiar High School’s rain-soaked course, Bareddy prepared to run a race like any other. Halfway through, though, it became clear that this race would be much different from those in the past.

He’d been walking through the course, he said, to see what they would be competing on that day. What they saw before the meet changed Bareddy’s mind-set during the race.

“Before every meet, we usually walk the course,” Bareddy said.  “It was about a mile in[to the course], and my friends and I saw the puddle, and I just had to do it.”

While walking with Bareddy, senior Jacob Mondry saw the puddle, too, but he didn’t know Bareddy would actually go through with it until he saw it happen in real time.

“I didn’t even know it was happening,” Mondry said.  “I was like, when he actually did it I was super surprised that he actually did it, and I thought it was hilarious. I thought he was bluffing.”

Bareddy said that Mondry wasn’t the only one surprised by him actually going through with his plan.

“When I did it at the meet, a lot of people were shocked that I did it during the race,” Bareddy said.  “Then after the meet while I was just walking around, I just hear people behind me yelling, ‘that’s the guy. That’s him. That’s the mud guy,’ and it was cool.”

Junior Natalie Swerdlow was amongst the BVN students standing to the side of the course, watching the race.

“I was standing on the side, right in front of the puddle,” Swerdlow said. “So I saw all the runners coming my direction, and most of them just tried jumping over the puddle.”

Mondry filmed the jump and posted it to his TikTok account. Bareddy said the likes weren’t instantaneous, but after they’d crossed the threshold of the first one hundred views, they were steadily increasing.

“We were about at the four-way stop in the school zone, and it had like 100 views, and that was just the people that run cross country,” Bareddy said.  “But, once we got to the track it had like 1000 views, and every single time we refreshed it just had 1000 more and it just increased.”

Mondry said that everyone he knew had been impressed by the number of views and likes they had received online, as well as reposts from celebrities, like Cuban, and famous social media accounts, like House of Highlights, which boasts over 14 million followers on Instagram.

“They thought it was pretty cool that BVN was on House of Highlights and other famous instagram pages, and that was pretty cool,” Mondry said.  “We felt famous basically like we were getting texts from everybody, and that was pretty cool.”

The recognition and fame followed Bareddy from social media to real life and he said he had no complaints about it.

“A lot of people come up to me and recognize me,” Bareddy said. “I was very proud of it.”

Most of the reactions to Bareddy’s stunt seems to have been positive, according to Swerdlow, who said she and the people she had talked to found it funny.

“I thought it was super funny because he went all out, and committed to it,” Swerdlow said.  “People around me also thought it was super funny and cool.”