Cross Country Seniors


Jaden Kanan and Colton Politte

The PHS Cross Country Seniors have had a very difficult and different season then what the team is used to. The team has faced many challenges, like trying to stay spaced out and six feet apart at school and during practice. As chaotic as this season has been, the seniors have been able to push through it all.0


Senior Will Jarvis has been running cross country since his seventh grade year. October 31 was his last district race. “My senior season was different than what I expected, but pulled through and made it an experience to remember. It puts that thought in your head that each race is your last and with every time I cross the finish line I’m another race closer to the end of my high school career.”


Jarvis tells us that cross country incorporates many valuable universal life lessons. “Cross Country has taught me to never be satisfied when there is room for improvement, remember your progress and take a moment and just look at how far you have come, and how much you have improved from where you started.”


Jarvis said, “After high school I plan on going to college to run cross country and track, but when I grow up I want to be a Graphic Designer.” Some of Jarvis’s hobbies include making custom fishing lures, hunting, fishing, working out, participating in shooting competitions, and kayaking. 


Running along Will Jarvis throughout the whole journey is Hunter Griffin. Hunter has been running cross country since he was in seventh grade. Griffin’s last race was October 17 ending his PHS cross country career. 


Griffin’s plans for after high school are to go to college at Fontbonne University and major in business. When he is an adult he wants to be a beta tester or open a manga business(a shop that sells anime books and anime products). 


Looking back on his time Griffin says “I wish I would have practiced harder and given more effort and practiced my body to perfection.” Griffin says “If there is a lesson that cross country has taught me it is that you can build a long time relationship with people you never knew before and those people can become your family”.


Senior Hallie Portell is part of the girls cross country team that is going to state. Portell said, “my senior year of running was more difficult than years past. Although It was very different, it was still very fun. My team overcame the obstacles we faced with COVID together and still made lots of memories. Over the years, cross country has taught me to never give up. Never giving up even when times are tough or things aren’t going as planned, helps people achieve the results they want. Cross country is a sport that doesn’t allow for any breaks and the only choice a runner has is to keep pushing and not give up.” 


The past four years she spent most of her time dedicated to school related activities and extracurriculars, like student council and cross country. Portell said, “I’ve made many friends who I consider family at PHS both among students and the teachers.”


After high school she doesn’t plan on running in college. She plans to attend Mineral Area College to complete her associates degree and then transfer to the Pre-Physical Therapy Program at SEMO.


Last but not least is Cierra Lewis. Lewis said, “Covid really didn’t affect our running since we are outside. But we did have a lot more competitive schools this year and that made everyone push to be their best. Cross country has taught me over the years that being competitive towards people is a good thing but not to get mad when the other person is better than you. You should always have great sportsmanship and strive to be better.


After high school she plans on going to Mac for the nursing program and then find a job as a surgeon. Lewis said, “Coach Politte has really pushed me to be a better person not only at running but also in everyday life she would always give an example of what she would do and I’ve always looked up to her.”


Griffin and Lewis’s season has unfortunately come to an end. Meanwhile Portell and Jarvis head to state to compete in the last cross country race of their high school career. These four seniors have worked hard this year and we hope to see you succeed in your future adult life outside of school.