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Cross country camp connects to all runners

Runners of all ages will have the opportunity to learn more about the sport and hear from some of South Dakota's biggest names in cross country during the Kernel Cross Country Camp.

"I'm looking forward to meeting new people and learning from their running experiences," said Riley Cowins, a junior cross country runner for Mitchell.

The camp has around 30 people signed up is Monday through Thursday on the campus of Dakota Wesleyan University.

Mitchell High School cross country coach Scott Munsen said the camp is a good way for anyone looking to learn more about the sport.

"They will learn how to take care of themselves with proper nutrition and stretching," he said.

This year's speakers will share running-related knowledge to help better those at the camp.

"Hopefully the speakers will be able to share even more in-depth on how someone can be the best possible runner," Munsen said.

The camp will feature Katie Patrick, a sophomore from Sioux Falls Lincoln, who recently competed in a national triathlon; Rachel Weinandt, of the University of South Dakota Biomechanics of Running; Dr. John Swisher, Avera Sports Medicine and Family Physician; Jeff Mettler and Matt Hoyt, two of USD's best long distance runners; Mollie Loes, a Nutritionist from South Dakota State University; Royce Wuertzer, St. Thomas Moore cross country coach; and coach Rich Greeno, South Dakota's winningest cross country coach.

"If students could learn one or two things from each speaker that would be pretty good," Munsen said. "They could take those things home with them and learn how to be a better student athlete."

Cowins said he is looking forward to gaining as much knowledge from the speakers as he can.

"Just to learn from their own personal experiences will help me," Cowins said. "I hope I can learn how to become a stronger and more independent runner."

Cowins finished 43rd in last year's state meet to lead the Mitchell boys. He hopes to build off that performance and crack into the top 25 this season.

"I bike about six miles a day and run about six miles a day," Cowins said. "I haven't been as dedicated in past years but I am trying to get in the right mindset to improve."