Sidney High School Freshman Places 5th At State Cross Country Meet

Ryleigh Kleinke, a freshman at Savage High School competed in the Montana High School Association State Cross Country Meet this past weekend at University of Montana's golf course in Missoula, placing 5th with a time of 20:27. 

Her main goal for the meet was securing a place in the top 5. She said, "It was really fun. Everyone did well and there was great competition."

"There was one hill that either killed you or helped you out, otherwise the course was really good. I've ran on worse so when I saw the course, I was ready for race day." She said, "After I was done racing, they sat top 15 in chairs and brought us to the awards area. With everybody standing there it was pretty chaotic. After I was done racing all I thought about was that I could finally have some junk food.

Before the state meet, Kleinke was ranked 4th with her personal record. She has been competing in cross-country for the past five years.

When asked what advice she would give to younger runners, she responded, "Just always have a positive mindset. Cross country is a mental sport, if you have a very good mindset and you are able to really push yourself and be better, then you will improve. Just always practice."

Her favorite thing about competing in cross-country is seeing her new personal best and watching everyone else improve. She said, "I love the team, they are all really supportive and a fun group of kids."

Her long-term goal for her running career is to have a new personal record every year and to recruit more people to Sidney High School's cross-country team. 

In addition to cross country, Kleinke keeps busy with sports in the spring and summer, participating in track during the spring and swimming competitively in the summer. She said, "I love all of the sports I participate in. There are a lot of good kids in all of them, I have a very good group of friends in each of them."


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