Finishing a season in any sport undefeated is a major accomplishment, but going two consecutive seasons undefeated makes one part of history.
Great Bend Middle School runner Kaiden Esfeld accomplished the feat, finishing off back-to-back unbeaten season at the Western Athletic meet at Liberal. Esfeld is a two-time WAC champion, student council member and a straight A-honor roll student.
“When the season started, I knew I was going to have many challenges,” Esfeld said. “I had some challenges I couldn’t even imagine, but I still persevered.”
Every race was dedicated to someone special. Kaiden carefully etched words of inspiration on his shoes.
On the top of the shoes is the word “family” and with each step Esfeld took, he knew his family was right by his side.
Esfeld said his teammates and coaches inspired to perform his best every time.
“I had amazing teammates who did phenomenal throughout this season as well as great coaches, teachers, mentors and many supporters throughout my middle school career,” he said. “It’s hard for me to put into words how much I appreciate all those who have helped me throughout my two seasons. But I know that they will be the ones I remember and the ones who helped me get where I am now.”
One of Esfeld’s favorite memories was when he caught and almost passed the Gator which was guiding the runners.
As a 7th grader, his closest competition finished 23 seconds behind. As an 8th grader, he finished a race 1:41 ahead of the runner-up.
“As I move on to high school, I can only think of how I can leave a big impact on the future cross country runners,” he said.