Quietly, Josilyn Schenk might be the most driven member of Piedmont’s girls cross country team.
As a freshman Schenk has crossed the finish line first for Piedmont in two of its three races. And although lofty, she’s already set a goal of the running at the Meet of Champions before her career ends.
“That’s a lofty goal, that’s some of the best runners in the state,” Piedmont head coach Todd Johnson said. “The fact she wants to run at that shows that she’s determined and has a great work ethic.”
But don’t expect to Schenk to talk about it necessarily. Soft spoken, but with boundless determination, she’s surprised even herself this season.
“I’m really not that great at long-distance running, I’m usually better at short distances,” she said. “I’m surprised because I’ve knocked off like two minutes from my time each meet. I’m proud of myself for that.”
Schenk paced Piedmont with a 25:03 at the Titan Invitational to start this season. A week later on Piedmont’s home course, which runs slower than most, she finished in 28:33. Two weeks ago at the OK Runner Classic she led Piedmont with a 22:54.
Schenk and teammates Kiley Burris and Meagan Wortman have finished in Piedmont’s top three, in some order, in each race this season.
“Kiley won once, Josilyn won twice so far this season. They’re competitive with each other, but in a positive way,” Johnson said. “I think if they run well enough at state they could be at the Meet of Champions, if not this year then possibly next year.”
Schenk wants to cut her time down to close to 20 minutes flat by season’s end. A time brought about by a healthy back and forth that Burris and Schenk have with each other.
“Whatever Kiley said she wanted to run, Josilyn was going to say a little faster,” Johnson said. “It’s not an in your face kind of thing, but she named a time faster than her, which says what she wanted to say in a more subtle way.”
One thing Schenk will admit, and not as subtly, is her goal for the team and herself this season.
“I think there’s still more that I can do,” she said. “I want to make it to state this season. That’s my top — that our top goal.”