Wilkie finishes career at state meet


While every cross country meet is unique and each course has its own idiosyncrasies, the state championships in Kearney are a whole other animal. The crowds are big and loud. The course is hilly and crowded. The pressure is immense.

For Malcolm’s Bricen Wilkie the Oct. 20 Class C boys race had a different outcome than the one he wanted. Coming off a fourth-place district finish in which the senior ran his first ever sub 17-minute race, Wilkie placed 43rd at the state meet with a time of 18:17.

Obviously, I’m not pleased with how my race went,” Wilkie said. “Every runner has a bad day here and there. Mine came at a bad time.”

Wilkie was one of 119 runners competing in the Class C boys’ race. Having qualified as an individual, he was the only Malcolm runner on the course on an unseasonably warm afternoon.

“It can be difficult for some athletes to go from running in cooler conditions to, all of a sudden, having to run in hotter weather,” Malcolm coach Brie Walklin said. “I know Bricen fuels up and hydrates his body properly. It just didn’t all come together that day.”

While falling short of his goal to win a state medal, the two-time state qualifier had a successful senior season.

“Sometimes when races don’t turn out the way we want, it gives you some doubt,” Walklin said. “That’s why I’m so glad he was able to have an amazing race the week before at districts. One tough race doesn’t define you. He can look back and see how his times got faster as the season went along. He should be super proud of what he was able to accomplish during his three years on the team.”

 Wilkie sees the big picture and knows the sport has taught him lessons that go beyond what a stopwatch tells you.

“Cross country has helped me develop a good work ethic,” Wilkie said. “Hard works pays off.

“I know God has a plan for me, even if it wasn’t to win a state medal. I give thanks to Him.”