By Kyle Quick
Jefferson City, Mo. - The saying “being in the right place at the right time” is exactly how the greatest distance runner in Shamrock history was born.
Saturday, in his final cross country meet, Seth Schenck caped off his illustrious career at the Missouri State Cross Country meet at Oak Hills Country Club, finishing in the top ten for the first time by taking 9th place.
However, Schenck’s four straight state appearances, three All-State medals, and his Four Rivers Conference and Class 1 District Championships may have never happened if he and Cross Country Coach John Tucker were not “in the right place at the right time” over seven years ago.
No different than anything other summer, Coach Tucker’s team would go on a run each morning, but in 2008’s first run of the summer something different did happen.
Tucker vividly remembers that day, “I was running with the team and noticed a young boy outside dribbling a basketball and said, ‘why don’t you come run with us.’ and he joined us and I was shocked at how well he could run.”
“It’s funny how he’d never thought about runner until I jokingly asked him to come along,” Tucker recalled.
Almost immediately after every race there is one person you will find Seth Schenck talking to or in Saturday's case giving his dad a hug.
From that point on Tucker continually worked with Schenck all through middles school, having him run with the high school team at times, “just because he could handle the workouts,” Tucker said.
Even with his best ever finish at state, Schenck was frustrated afterwards, “If I had ran my race and stuck with my strategy I probably would have finished second. When the La Plata kid (Seth Brown who finished 1st) took off I went with him and probably focused to much on him instead of just running my race.”
“No doubt we had higher expectations (Seth and I) and had he not taken off with La Plata he probably would’ve finished closer to second place, but he made the decision that if he wanted to win the race he had to go after him, which really is a testament to the boys willpower and strength.”
He was born to be a runner.
Pictured with Seth Schenck is Coach John Tucker, who in a way sparked, what became greatest cross country career at New Haven High School.
Among his countless medals won during the regular season in his four years of running, Schenck finished in the top three each year at conference, (2010 - 2nd, 2011 - 2nd, 2012 - 3rd, & 2013 - 1st) and took fourth place each of his first three years at districts before winning this past year.
As a freshman (2010), Schenck won his first state medal, finishing 14th. (Top 25 medal) His sophomore year would be the only time Schenck would not medal at state after finishing 29th but returned the following year to win his second state medal. (15th)
Schenck said, “I got on top the podium, where past years I was standing on the ground. I can’t complain about.”
Schenck moves right into basketball season before he completely ends his running career later this spring in track.