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JV Freshman to Standout XC Sophomore

The Penn Boys Cross Country team is gaining statewide attention after wining the prestigious Wildcat Classic Invite last Saturday at Indiana Wesleyan University. Medaling in 19th place for the Kingsmen with an impressive time of 16:47.7 was Penn sophomore Matthew Givens. His phenomenal race helped the Kingsmen clench the team championship for the first time ever at IWU. 

The spotlight is new for Givens. Last year at the same meet he was over 3 minutes slower with a time of 20:03.9. He placed 81st in the junior varsity race. However, after a solid summer of training, Givens is now contributing to his team. Givens knew this cross country season was going to be great after a successful track season.

“I went to the New Prairie track meet and ran a 10:30 in the two mile out of nowhere,” Givens said.

Givens says his recent success is due in part to his race mentality. He says it has changed from last cross country season to this year.

“I have started to focus on a professional career so races are more about results and placement then just running with my friends,” Givens said.

Givens running career is just getting started. He only started running two weeks before his freshman year. 

“I wanted to play a sport but was not good with the technical skill in football, basketball or baseball and I wanted to try it [Cross country] out. My motivation when I first started running was just to have fun with the sports and run with my friends. My motivation now is to have a professional running career in cross country and track,” Givens said.

Givens looks to continue his successful season next Saturday, September 17th, when the Kingsmen compete in the historic New Prairie Invitational. The varsity large school boys race is set to start at 11:50AM ET. Givens will be running in the boys freshmen and sophomore race at 12:20PM ET.

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