November 2nd will always be an unforgettable day for Washburn cross country runner Carsyn Koch. It’s when she became a four-time state champion in the sport, something only a handful of others have ever done.
“I smile about it even thinking about it now,” said Koch. “I didn’t think I could do it and then now that I’ve actually done it, it’s kind of bittersweet.”
“It was really nerve-wracking but really exciting to see her reach the top of the mountain so to speak,” said Carsyn’s parents, Peter and Liane Koch. “We’re just very very proud of her persevering.”
Especially since Carsyn has dedicated a lot of time to the sport. In fact, she gave up soccer in 2012 just to focus more on running. It’s a talent and a passion she’s extremely thankful for.
“Cross country has impacted me in more ways than I thought it would,” stated Koch. ” There are just tons of life lessons you can learn from the sport.”
For not only Carsyn, but for the rest of the team as the discipline, hard work, and many miles of running have paid off. In the last three years, the Beavers have gone on to grab a State Championship and two runners-up titles.
Her coach, Mike Waugh said, “Carsyn brings a joy to what she does. And when you are enjoying it and other people are seeing you enjoy it and having success at it, they wanna be a part of it.”
As for the future, Carsyn doesn’t really have an idea as to where she wants to attend college, but she’ll most likely continue to run. While no one’s certain if anyone else will ever accomplish the same feat Carsyn did, she does has a few words of advice.
“You have to have the mindset that yes this hurts, no I don’t want to run in the rain and no I don’t want to run for an hour, but you have to know that it will make you better,” said Koch. “You have to push through the pain and push through the things you don’t want to do, to get the things you want to get.”
Just like Carsyn did- working hard to become part of a very elite list.