Great Bend’s Kaiden Esfeld did not think that he would like running, especially long distances, at the start of his middle school career.
As the season started, he won first place in consecutive meets and decided running was not too bad.
Track was the same — the start was long and felt boring — but the end was the best.
“Completing two seasons in which I crossed the finish line first in both cross country and track and beating two school records felt great. That was not the best part about running,” he said. “The best motivation was how runners from other schools openly strategized on how to beat me. My teammates, coaches and family always had my back. As I did in cross-country, I dedicated each race to someone special. I refused to let anyone down.”
Esfeld broke the middle school eighth-grade two-mile record at the middle school WAC meet in Liberal (10:26.81). Last year, Esfeld broke the seventh-grade 800-meter record.
“Kaiden was fun to coach because he worked hard every day in practice,” said Great Bend coach Carley Wells. “He was a great leader because he was willing to do anything for his teammates. He helped everyone to focus on the positives.”
Now as Esfeld’s middle school racing days are over, Kaiden plans to continue running at Great Bend High School. He hopes to continue his winning streak to help the team out.
“Coach Lyles Lashley has been telling me about the teams we will compete against and how he thinks the season will go,” Esfeld said. “I have a great feeling about next year. I cannot wait for the season to start.”