Rising Star: Southeast of Saline’s Jentrie Alderson hungry to finish high school career on top

Published: Sep. 15, 2021 at 10:29 PM CDT
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SALINE COUNTY, Kan. (KWCH) - The Southeast of Saline High School girls’ cross country team is one of the best in Class 3A and will look to defend its state title this season. Senior Jentrie Alderson anchors the Trojans and his hungry to finish her high school with another championship.

Alderson warms up for practice with a smile on her face.

“I love running. It is my passion, I just love to do it,” she said.

The 2019 3A state champion said she’ll never take competing in the sport she loves for granted again.

“Coming off her sophomore season where she won state, she had high expectations for her junior season and she wasn’t able to run at that same level. The heart was willing, but the body just wasn’t able to at that point,” Southeast of Saline cross country coach Wade Caselman said.

A long fight with COVID-19, several other illnesses and an anemia diagnosis in the middle of her junior season mean that for the first time in her career, Alderson couldn’t always cross the finish line.

“Right after I didn’t finish the first race, I wanted to be done. I did not want to run. I did not enjoy one single moment of running last year,” she said.

But after a seventh-place finish at last year’s state cross country meet, she was hungry to make a comeback.

“Right after cross country,” I changed my mindset,” Alderson said.

She worked hard in the offseason last year and during he winter months, putting in good mileage and getting healthy. It paid off in the spring which ended with Alderson bringing home two gold medals at the 3A state track meet in the 3,200 and 1,600.

“I just wanted to prove to myself I could do it,” she said.

Now, Alderson said she’s more motivated than ever to bring home her second individual cross country title.

“It’s fun to see her. She’s driven, she is focused and really ants to have a great season,” Caselman said.

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