Cross Country runner earns D-1 scholarship

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Cross Country runner earns D-1 scholarship

White competing in the Mid-East Championship (photos courtesy of Brian Salyers).

White competing in the Mid-East Championship (photos courtesy of Brian Salyers).

White competing in the Mid-East Championship (photos courtesy of Brian Salyers).

White competing in the Mid-East Championship (photos courtesy of Brian Salyers).

Michael Stevenson, Editor-in-Chief

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Four years flies by very quickly. With athletics, it seems nearly impossible to make an impact on a program in just four years. You are just there and gone, just another statistic for your high school. But that is not the case for senior Evan White.

White runs Cross Country for Milford High School. During the season, he led the Mavs to a 7-1 season, including a second place finish at the Lakes Valley Conference Championship and a second place finish at the Regional Meet.

Both of Milford’s Cross Country teams have a history of success. The boys team has won the State Championship five times, while the girls team won their first State Championship in 2016.

This year, White led the boys team to a 8th place finish at States. White ran a personal record of 15:46, and finished 6th overall.

After the race, White was embraced by his team.

“It just felt like everything came together,” expressed White, “I waited for everyone else to finish and then we walked back to the team tent together. It was cool to share this amazing experience with the team.”

“Evan had a season best time in bad conditions,” said head coach Brian Salyers, “and that just shows how much work he put in to prepare for this race.”

A week after the State Meet, White went to Shepherd High School and participated in the Mid-East Qualifier race. This race is for senior runners who are interested in post-season running. Evan ran against seniors from all across the state of Michigan. White finished in 2nd place with a time of 15:28, and made it on to team Michigan.

“That performance was definitely a carryover from the State Meet,” Salyers explained, “and it just shows you Evan’s physical and mental preparation for big races.”

After the Qualifier, Team Michigan went down Kettering, Ohio to go up against Team Indiana, Team Ohio, and Team Illinois in the Mid-East Championships. White helped his team defeat their opponents, finishing 8th overall and 4th on Team Michigan in tough racing conditions.

“It was such a honor to represent Team Michigan and to be able to compete against the best runners in the state,” said White, “It was also a great experience to be able to celebrate with the team by jumping in the pond.”

“ It was very cool to see his success at a national level,” said freshman runner Ryan O’Rourke, “His performance inspired me to push myself to that level.”

During his final year of running, White was heavily recruited by University of Marshall. In between the State Meet and the MidEast Qualifier, White officially committed there to run Cross Country and Track.

“It was an absolute honor and privilege to get a scholarship from Marshall,” said White, “It is a great fit for me too. I love the coach and Marshall has the academic program that I want.”

Many of White’s teammates were also happy for his accomplishment.

“It was awesome to see a Division 1 school recruit him so bad,” says O’Rourke.

“It just shows you how much Evan has progressed,” said Salyers, “He has put in a lot of work and has physically matured over the past four years.”

Now that the season is over, the team looks to prepare for the Track and Field season and eventually next year’s Cross Country season. But White will not be forgotten, and his legacy will be remembered.

“Evan is the glue that holds our team together,” said O’Rourke, “he leads by example and everyone tends to follow his lead.”

“Evan is a tremendous role model and leader for this team,” explained Salyers, “He has a great feel for training too; he knows how to balance work and rest. He works hard and expects his teammates to do the same, which leaves an impression on everyone.”

White has left a culture of hard work that will remain for the years to come.

“Evan has been a huge mentor to me all year,” said O’Rourke, “he took me under his wing and showed me the ropes.”

The boys team celebrating after their great State performance.