Leaving a Lasting Legacy…


Brent Lyons, Journalist

“It’s crazy because I didn’t realize how much I will miss it and how much cross country has given to me these past three years””

— Will Hinkle

“I wouldn’t do anything differently except maybe run faster. But I love these guys with all my heart.” Will Hinkle is a 2022 senior at Arlington High School.Will is an active member of the Student Council, Tigers Cross Country, and Track team. This year marks his third season as a part of the Cross Country team, and his journey through high school is defined by his running experiences . “I only joined cross country because I wanted to be in better shape for soccer. So when I joined cross country sophomore year, I thought I would be solid like middle of the pack runner. And then, I ran my first 5k in 36 minutes and 48 seconds, and that is impressively slow. For the rest of sophomore year, I kind of goofed off a little bit. I ended the year in the 25’s, but for all junior year and senior year, I, I put in a lot more work than I had sophomore year. I made it to State this past year, with couple other great guys that I’ve built great relationships with.”
Will was a big part of the teams state qualifying success this year, posting a personal record of 17:11 in the 5k, he was third on the team at the end of the season. He was also provided with a chance to lead being a senior on the team, this is how he contributed. “Everybody plays a part on the team. There’s obviously the guy that’s the fastest who will be number one, most people look up to him for workouts and running advice. Then you have the solid, second, third and fourth runners. I was third and second for most of the season this year. So I feel like I helped contribute to the team by being somebody JV could talk to for running advice. And somebody that the bottom three in the top seven would come to during workouts to try to pace off of and get better.” Throughout Will’s three year running career, he said he has had too many memories to list. He did however narrow it down to this one moment. “My favorite memory from this season was definitely regionals meet. There were a lot of emotions heading into that meet. Number one, because we were down to Collierville by 70 points at the beginning of the season in August, and then by the race in late October, we had tied it up we were actually I think ahead by one point. And I know Brent was trying to encourage all of us as much as we could, because we just wanted to make it to state one last time because we had a lot of seniors that were on the varsity team, and it would have been really fun to make it, and after that race. We knew we had poured everything we had into that into that meet, and when they called our names to walk up to receive the award for qualifying for state that was probably the best memory I have from this season, and actually probably the whole cross country experience.”

When posed a question on how he reflects on his time with the team now that it is over. “Well, that’s a that’s a tough question because, I was asked that before the season started and now that the season is ending, and my answers are honestly completely different. Before the season started, I would have told you that it’s just something that naturally happens. Everything comes to an end at some point, right? But this year, it’s crazy because I didn’t realize how much I will miss it and how much cross country has given to me these past three years, between friendships and something to do after school, and the community that I’ve become a great part of, and a whole bunch of friends not even from our team, but from across the nation that I’ve met, that’s probably the biggest thing that makes me sad that this cross country season is coming to an end.”