Wiseman finds a perfect fit in cross-country

Chris Bowie
New Franklin senior Hayden Wiseman was a valuable member on the Bulldogs cross-country and track team during his tenure at the school. Wiseman competed in cross-country four years and track and field for three years. He also helped New Franklin capture its first ever district title in cross-country.

New Franklin senior Hayden Wiseman wasn’t sure at first if cross-country was for him.

While competing on the track team in seventh and eighth grade, Wiseman said if he had to do it all over again he would have gone out for cross-country in junior high.

As it turned out, Wiseman was a valuable member on the high school team and was part of winning the school’s first ever district title his senior year.

For that, Wiseman said cross-country was his favorite sport because you had to be dedicated to running every day.

“I liked cross-country and track but there were a lot of people in track and not everyone was super dedicated to the sport,” Wiseman said. “In cross-country, everyone is doing the same event. It’s a 5K and you have to have to be dedicated to it and I was also really close to all of the runners that were in cross-country. It was just easier to be with friends and the meets were also shorter than track meets, which was nice.”

Of course Wiseman has his sights set on attending the University of Missouri-Columbia this fall in honors college. He said while he is still undecided on a major, he would like to major in either science or a music related field.

In addition to track and cross-country, Wiseman also participated on the Scholar Bowl team. He said New Franklin was conference champions in 2020 and he took fourth place on the all-star team.

But when Wiseman is not running in track or cross-country, he said he likes to spend his time playing board games and hanging out with friends.

As for cross-country, Wiseman said his best meet of the season was right before districts this past fall at Bowling Green. He said in that meet, he finished in a time of 20 minutes and 7 seconds.

“It was the final meet before districts and it was the fastest time I had ever run and it was the closest I had ever gotten to sub 20,” Wiseman said. “I also really felt great about that race.”

As for career highlight in cross-country, Wiseman said it had to be winning districts his senior year. He said that was special because that was the first New Franklin team to ever do it.

Wiseman said he will miss cross-country because of his friends and the competition and just working together.

As for track, Wiseman said it was pretty similar to cross-country in that he was able to enjoy the competition and spend some time with his friends.

Wiseman competed mostly in the 3200 meter run but would occasionally be thrown in to run in both the 1600 and 4 x 800 relay.

“In track I thought it was a chance to always make myself better, and there was a lot of time to hang out with friends,”Wiseman said.

Wiseman said his best meet in track was his sophomore year, where he finished fourth in the two mile at districts and ended up qualifying for sectionals.

He said that was also his career highlight and recalls the long drive to St. Louis and that it was “cool” to be able to go.

Wiseman said he will miss about the same things in track that he misses in cross-country.

“I will miss the competition and especially all my friends,” Wiseman said. “Most of my friends from track were the same in cross-country.”

Looking back at his career at New Franklin, Wiseman said he really feels well how everything went. He said he still regrets not running cross-country in seventh and eighth grade but was really proud of what he managed to accomplish.

“Ihave improved so much since I joined track in seventh grade,”Wiseman said. “I was easily the slowest kid in seventh grade and then my senior year I was a very competitive athlete.”

Of course with no track in March, April or May, Wiseman said he has been spending a lot of time hanging out with his family.

“I would say in March and April Ihung out with my family, but then in May and June when things started opening up a little bit more I started hanging out with my friends and did that a lot of the time,”Wiseman said.

Wiseman said he is also glad the seniors finally get to have their graduation. He said after holding a run through last Friday, he is really happy his classmates finally get to do it.

As for what he will miss the most about New Franklin, Wiseman said he is going to miss his friends and the teachers mostly.

“I was pretty good friends I would say with a lot of the teachers that I had, which is really nice,” Wiseman said. “I’m going to miss them. I’m also going to miss band. Imiss band a lot.”

With just months before stepping on the campus at Mizzou, Wiseman said he is ready to take that next step.

“I feel at this point I am ready, especially with graduation on Saturday,” Wiseman said. “I feel ready to move on.”