The student news site of Potomac Falls High School

The Roar

The student news site of Potomac Falls High School

The Roar

The student news site of Potomac Falls High School

The Roar

Eli Wike Makes His Run at States


Following a season replete with injuries, setbacks, and a series of persistent silver standings within the team, sophomore Eli Wike reclaimed control of the season’s trajectory after punching his ticket to the state meet at the Region 5D Cross Country Championships.

Wike, who was among the top ten selected to represent Potomac Falls at the Regional meet, spent Halloween day at the notoriously hilly Oatlands course in Leesburg, VA. Still, even “Jesus Hill,” an intimidating landmark to cross country runners across the state, was no match for Wike, who ran a 17:44 min 5K and placed 14th out of 61.

“The top five runners excluded from the three qualifying teams were selected to go to States,” said Wike. “Qualifying for States was definitely one of my goals, but I didn’t think it would happen so early on in my high school career.”

Wike spent the majority of the season in the shadow of fellow sophomore Gavin Jackson, the season’s male MVP. The two went head to head in most races and kept one another engaged competitively in training. 

“It had been pretty close between me and our number one runner Gavin. It felt good to be pushed by him in training, and I think I was just able to have a really good race at regionals to put me through to States,” said Wike.

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Wike’s training was a culmination of work over the summer, as well as through the season. He challenged himself through the season with a rigorous training schedule with multiple workouts per week and, sometimes, multiple runs per day. Being the only member of the team advancing to States, he began running workouts on his lonesome leading up to the meet. “The training and workouts were pretty vigorous once the school year started, especially because we really only went on long runs over the summer,” said Wike. “Things really started to pick up when we began doing hill sprints, mile repeats, and descending tempo runs.”

Being the only purple singlet on the start line, Wike proudly represented Potomac Falls at the state meet on Nov 11. According to Wike, it was an “unfamiliar experience” warming up and preparing without his teammates. He didn’t allow this to tamper with his pre-race regimen. 

“I best get into the racing mindset with an ice bath the night prior, stretching in the morning, and having my usual oatmeal for breakfast,” said Wike. “When I get to the course, I always drown out my anxious thoughts with music and a quality stretch routine.”

Wike met his goal of placing in the middle of the pack after clocking a 17:58 min 5k at States. “I didn’t really have a lot of pressure on me or any expectations set for myself,” said Wike. “I was there to have fun and race hard.”

After a long season and summer training block, Wike can finally hang up his cross country spikes until next year and trade them in for track ones as he prepares for the indoor track season. His continuous string of accomplishments don’t stop him from running towards even higher goals.

“My goals for the winter season are to set new PRs in the 3200m and 1600m races and really just lock into a good training program, so that I can truly excel in the outdoor spring season,” said Wike.

Wike’s future in the competitive running atmosphere looks bright as ever with such monumental accomplishments only as a sophomore.