#1 Student NWI: Lowell Closes Out Fall Sports Season with a Bang

#1 Student NWI: Lowell Closes Out Fall Sports Season with a Bang

Student Spotlight: Gabe Sanchez

Junior Gabe Sanchez knew he had a big role to fill this cross country season with Lowell’s previous #1 runner having graduated, but he never expected to come as far as he did.

As a sophomore last season, Gabe attended the state competition, placing 40th. While that’s impressive in itself, it pales in comparison to his performance this season. He reigned victorious, staying undefeated the entire season up until the state finals. For the 2018 season, Gabe achieved a runner-up state title. This is the highest state finish in the entire Lowell Cross Country program’s history.

The improvement in times from last season to this season proves Gabe’s hard work ethic and “Never Give Up” mentality paid off.

A strength that Gabe has that some other distance runners lack is his strong sprint. Even in the very end of a race after giving his all the entire time, he’s able to gather his remaining energy into a deadly finishing sprint.

He used this strength to his advantage at the state competition. Throughout most of the race, Gabe stuck with the pack and maintained position in the top 10. It wasn’t until the final stretch of the race that he out-sprinted nearly every other runner in his path, gaining him a 2nd place title.

The following season looks extremely hopeful for Gabe, who has a much attainable state title in sight.

Staff Spotlight: Coach Mikesell

Monday through Friday, and sometimes even Saturdays, you can find Coach Clark Mikesell in the Lowell High School weight room. He gets to the school as early as 5:15am to get started assisting athletes through the Strength and Conditioning program he runs.

His passion started back when he was in high school, when he himself was an athlete at Lowell High School. He realized pretty quick that he was never the 'gifted' athlete. He knew that if he wanted to succeed it was going to take some hard work. He began researching Strength and Conditioning, including different modalities and philosophies. This helped him make his ultimate decision about college and what he wanted to study.

The athletes work on a lot of different things through Coach Mikesell’s program. As the athletes progress, the emphasis will change depending on the phase the athletes are in. They will start in a Hypertrophy Phase, then move into a Strength Phase, and then, lastly, a Power Phase. Coach Mikesell adjusts workouts to best fit the team he is working with at the moment.

While Coach Mikesell believes that the benefits of Strength and Conditioning are virtually endless, the main one for him is injury prevention.

“The quality of athletes and teams out there keep improving. Learning how to move properly and getting stronger is a huge advantage,” Mikesell explained.

Other benefits of Strength and Conditioning include: improved cognitive function, improved sleep quality, increased self-esteem, learning how to lead, healthy lifestyle choices, nutrition, and finally performance. Strength and Conditioning to him is a lot more than just improving performance.

“I love helping athletes reach their athletic goal, whatever that may be,” Mikesell said. “Watching athletes grow, physically and mentally, is why I keep coming back every morning.”

Student Spotlight: Gabe SanchezWhat’s Going On:

The Girls’ and Boys’ Cross Country Teams had phenomenal seasons this year, both attending the State competition.

The Boy’s team placed 14th overall at State. As mentioned, Junior Gabe Sanchez placed 2nd place at State, which is the highest state placement in Lowell program history. Senior Dustin Hudak finished off his season with his fourth straight state appearance throughout his high school career. The team has had five state appearances in the past seven years, which is extremely impressive.

The Girl’s team also participated in the State Race, placing 14th overall, as well. Jordyn Boyer completed her high school cross country career with an 8th place state finish.

The Spell Bowl team won their Regional Competition for the 3rd year in a row.

The Football Team captured their fifth consecutive Sectional Championship on November 2, defeating the Morton Governors 20-14 in the championship game. Senior Tyler Wildman scored both touchdowns, and junior Nate Gard kicked 2 field goals to secure the win.

Student Spotlight: Gabe SanchezWhat’s Coming Up:

The Lowell Theater Department will be performing their rendition of the play, Arsenic and Old Lace. Catch the performance on November 8, 9, and 10 at 7pm, or on November 11 at 2pm!

Lowell Girl’s Basketball will host a ‘United We Fight’ game on November 13 starting at 7pm. This game against Hebron is to honor those who have been affected by cancer. There will be baskets raffled off and t-shirts for sale for $12.

On November 17, starting at 10 am, Sonshine Corner Preschool will host it’s 7th annual Craft & Vendor Fair.

Although it may seem far away, Christmas is approaching and there are events coming up to get in the spirit! On December 1, Ruff N Tuff Country Store is hosting Photos with Santa.