Cowart enjoys trip to AAU nationals
Baldwin High School senior Keith Cowart finished his prep cross country career by being a part of history with the Brocaw Blazers at the 2005 Amateur Athletic Union National Championship in early December.
Cowart joined the Brocaw team on its trip to Rock Hill, S.C., where he ran 16:27.5 and tied for 16th place in the young men division out of 85 runners.
"It was probably one of the best trips I have ever been on," Cowart said. "The people I met made it great and it was nice to do something different."
BHS coach Mike Spielman was happy for Cowart and proud of his success at the national meet.
"It was a great honor to be in the top 20, to medal and to be on the national championship team," Spielman said. "He now has two big medals."
Cowart said the race was fun and gave him a chance to run a good final high school race.
"It was probably one of the most fun races I have ever done," Cowart said. "My adrenaline was pumping and it was a nice way to go out."
After all of the races finished, Cowart and the Brocaw team won the annual bet with coach David Ramsey. The team then shaved Ramsey's long hair, which no other team had done in Brocaw history.
"It was the first time anyone has been able to do it since 1988," Cowart said. "We finally got to shoot that down and beat his goal."
Cowart said he added a little extra touch when cutting the hair.
"I came up with the idea of the Mohawk with the back of it as a mullet," Cowart said. "It looked pretty good."
In the end, the team left Ramsey with very minimal hair on top of his head.
This year was the first time Cowart had run AAU cross country after his BHS season was finished.
"I just wanted to find what I like to do and run well," Cowart said. "I wanted to get my spark back running and try something new."
BHS has seen many cross country runners run for the Brocaw team in years past, but the number has declined recently.
"The last couple years we haven't had anybody go," Spielman said. "In the past we have had more. With basketball starting, it's hard for some of them."
One reason some of the runners have joined the Brocaw team is to meet and become friends with other area runners.
"It's kind of fun meeting people from different schools that you run against," Cowart said.
The Rock Hill course was similar to the state meet, according to Cowart.
"It was kind of like Wamego, but it wasn't too easy or too hard," Cowart said. "It was a nice, challenging course, but it was just a great day to run."
The Brocaw team won the bet with Ramsey by scoring 10 points with team and individual champions in different divisions. There are 5 age groups for girls and boys, leaving Ramsey with 10 different teams for the bet.
A first place by a team is one point, but a first and second in the same division scores two points. An individual winner is worth one-half point, but a first and second individually in the same division scores one point.
Cowart is currently on the BHS wrestling team for the first time and will begin his final track season as a Bulldog in Feb. 27.