McKibben’s journey from sprinter to cross country
Morningside People, Sports

McKibben’s journey from sprinter to cross country

by Kiki Bennett–Sophomore Jojo McKibben went from being at the top of the conference in the 100-meter dash to qualifying for cross country nationals in the span of six months.

McKibben joined cross country this fall after a freshman year full of jump and sprint events in track. “As a sprinter, I was pretty mediocre I couldn’t compete against the conference girls, and I wanted to see where this path would take [me],” said McKibben.

No one knew that this change in direction would result in her going to nationals with her childhood best friend, senior Emalee Funderman.

Sophomore Jojo McKibben (Left) and Senior Emalee Funderman

With all of her success as a distance runner, McKibben has remained one of the humblest runners out there. “I have great teammates who pushed me to be where I am today, and I wouldn’t be where I am today without them,” said McKibben. 

McKibben stresses the amount that the team has pushed her to be her best. “I’m really grateful for the distance side for having open arms, for excepting me and for pushing me to the extremes,” she said. 

With a 5k best of 19:10, McKibben hopes to be in the top 100 at the NAIA National Championship in Vancouver, Washington. McKibben hopes to be neck and neck with childhood best friend, Emalee Funderman, who has a 5k best of 19:15 at Nationals. 

As for her track career, McKibben expressed that she is not quite sure what she will be doing for the indoor season. “I really don’t think I’ll ever see a 60 in my future. Whatever coach tells me to run, I’ll do,” stated McKibben.

November 18, 2019