Finishing Strong: Billy Bennett Leads The Way For King Cross Country Into New England Championships

By Wendell Maxey, King School Sports Information & Social Media Liaison 

King School senior Billy Bennett has been outrunning the cross country competition since he arrived at King five years ago, but this year, he says, has been special.  

In September, Billy ran the Canterbury Invitational in a time of 17:02, which earned him second place in King's division and eighth overall in both divisions. He repeated his second place finish just a few days later at the Fairchester Athletic Association (FAA) all-league race at Sherwood Island, only this time, he came in 11 seconds sooner with a 16:51 race time. With a first place finish at Wooster and Greens Farms Academy, Billy continues to lead King's cross country team as the season continues. 

With two more FAA league races to run, including the FAA championship race on November 1, Billy is looking forward to a strong finish to the FAA season for himself and for King. He is also looking forward to the New England Championships on November 13, where he's hoping for a strong performance to wrap up an impressive cross country career with the Vikings.  

Billy recently took part in a Q&A where he discussed his experiences running with the King cross country team, the importance of camaraderie with teammates and coaches, and his aim to finish the season strong at the upcoming New England Championships.

Q: What has cross country been like for you at King these past four years?

Every fall for the past four years, cross country has been a time for me to escape from the classroom and to enjoy my time outside with my teammates and coaches. 

Q: How has this season been special or different from other years?  

Since our team has experienced COVID together, we know that we should make the most of our practices, and not take what we have for granted. Because of this, I feel that our team is much more connected, which makes meets and practices better. 

Q: Running is an individual effort but team dynamics and coaching can help a runner be better.  How do your King teammates and your coaches help to make your experience better, more fun, and enjoyable?

While running can get extremely repetitive during meets and races, there's one thing that's always different: laughing, joking, hanging out, and practicing with teammates and coaches (yes, our coaches run with us). Hard workouts with teammates feel like easy workouts, and before you know it, practice is over. 

Q: What are you looking forward to most at the upcoming New England Championships? 

I'm looking to represent King as I come through the finish line in first place (hopefully)!

 

*Thank you to Christina Russell and Katie Munno for conducting the interview with Billy Bennett