The Pennant

Cross Country: Kingsmen thrive in the Long run

By XAVIER GRAYSON

Whether it’s grinding up an imposing hill on the South Bend Sectional 5K course, pursing academic excellence, or achieving the elite status of being an Eagle Scout, Penn’s Matt Long is passionate about everything he does.

Long helped Penn win Cross Country championships in the Northern Indiana Conference and the Sectional. He’s hoping more are on the horizon.

He has has also done projects with the Scouts that are a huge benefit to the community. He traveled to the Res and refurbished trails there. He has also done work at Madison Elementary, his former elementary school. He cleaned up their nature trails and put up signs so the students there can learn and benefit from nature. After all of his hard work, Long achieved the Eagle Scout rank two weeks ago. This is the highest achievement attainable for the Scouts.

Long balances Cross Country, Scouts and school, as well as participating in academic competition through a club like DECA. He helps out with the Lion Scouts the kindergarten scouts program.

He described juggling all these activities as “difficult.”

To Long, school always comes first, so he makes sure he gets school work and projects done before he participates in these activities.

Long’s best memory he has in cross country was last year when the team made the State Finals.

“The interactions with all the other schools’ runners was a great experience.”

He hopes that younger athletes will follow in his footsteps in Cross Country.

“Cross Country is a once in a lifetime experience,” Long said. “You’ll meet a lot of new friends and make great memories.”

Long wants to continue cross country when he goes to college. His top college choice is Hillside. Where he wants to study business and marketing with a minor in music.