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The student news site of Downers Grove South High School


The student news site of Downers Grove South High School


Josh Poeschel runs into cross-country success

Rich Smott
Senior Josh Poeschel runs down to the finish line for another win.

Running down the path, senior Josh Poeschel sprints down to the finish line– something that he’s done since fifth grade. He smiles at the crowd, making it clear to the fans why he’s breaking records left and right.

One of his biggest achievements thus far was running the second-fastest 5k (15:31) in DGS history, only falling behind former DGS cross-country runner Tim Neumann. In addition, he placed second at the 2023 Naperville North regional, one week after becoming the conference champion. Accomplishments like this, however, take much more than people realize.

“The main key to cross-country training is consistency, so I run almost every day all year-round. Each week of training generally consists of two higher-intensity workout days–one speed and strength day, one long run day and the rest are recovery runs, which for me adds up to about 65 miles per week. Throughout the pre-season, I focused on gradually ramping up the mileage while throwing in progressively more intense workouts to get myself race-ready,” Poeschel said.

Senior Richard Gasmen, one of Poeschel’s teammates, believes that Poeschel not only does a great job at running, but also does a great job of leading the cross-country team.

“Josh is a great teammate who is always positive and encourages others to work hard. Although he is a faster runner than all of us, he always acknowledges everyone’s progress as runners themselves. Josh leads by example and influences everyone to become a better runner through that,” Gasmen said.

Even though running can bring times of adversity, Poeschel embraces that and continues to grow from those moments. In addition, he knows that the team has his back.

“We always call ourselves best friends, and far more than just being a gimmick, I think that really encapsulates the type of tight-knit and welcoming community that our team represents. We get into all sorts of wacky antics together, and it makes being on the team a lot more fun,” Poeschel said.

Cross-country head coach Brian Caldwell realizes that Poeschel has made big strides towards improving his running time.

“Josh started out with a freshman year best time in Cross Country of 16:46, which is pretty good for a freshman, but nothing truly exceptional. He’s now running races that are under 15:00 for three miles and has proven himself to be one of the best runners in school history,” Caldwell said.

Poeschel will continue to run in college at Washington University. He will be a part of the cross-country and track teams.

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