Kennedy Warden runs towards the end of her high school cross country career


Brenna Cohoon

Kennedy Warden is practicing with her cross country team preparing for their next meet

DGS senior Kennedy Warden is a varsity cross country runner who has made a big impact on her team the past four years.

Warden has been a member of the varsity team for the entirety of her high school career. She contributes to her team in many ways, besides just scoring points.  Girls cross country coach Douglas Plunkett comments on how Warden is an important role model for the underclassmen on the team and always presents a positive attitude. 

“She serves as a team captain and provides leadership and a great example of commitment and work ethic to our younger runners. Kennedy also contributes to the team atmosphere with her humor and easygoing attitude,” Plunkett said. 

While Warden’s energy and optimism greatly influences the team, she has also proven her importance to the team with her placement at meets. 

“Kennedy has performed well in big meets for us, including last year at the state meet. She ran 17:33 and placed 43rd overall as our number four runner to help our team secure the third-place trophy,” Plunkett said. 

On the other hand, cross country means more to Warden than just winning. She says that one of her favorite memories from the past four years was their third-place finish at state last year. 

Some of my favorite memories from cross country are placing third at state last year and seeing the whole team’s hard work pay off. Going swimming, kayaking with the team on our annual camping trip, watching the Lorax for our team movie night and eating mashed potatoes [were also some of my favorite memories],” Warden said. 

Among other objectives, the main goal for the team this year is to place higher than their previous third place finish at state. 

Our team wants to win conference, win state and qualify for the national championship meet in Portland,” Plunkett said. 

After running for six years, Warden knows that she will continue doing cross country after she graduates. She is currently in the midst of being recruited to advance her running and academic careers at a handful of Division I universities. 

I will continue running cross country in college. I am still deciding where, but the three schools I am deciding between are Colorado State, Appalachian State, and Belmont University,” Warden said. 

Warden shares what she has personally learned from being a Mustang cross country runner. She believes that she will continue to apply to these things while running in college. 

“Cross country had taught me that if you really want something and you work hard enough, anything is possible. I have learned how to push myself, and that consistency always wins,” Warden said.