Senior leader pushes cross country team


Bella Tederman

Senior Isaac Kult competes in the Yutan Cross Country Invitational. Kult has been the top placing runner for the Yutan cross country team.

Unlike many other teams, the Yutan cross country team doesn’t have captains, but senior leadership is still important to this team. 

Student body president, senior and top runner on the cross country team Isaac Kult has been a leader and key factor in pushing the team to grow during the 2021 season.

“Isaac is the one who pushes everyone else because he is constantly trying to be better himself,” co-head coach Alyssa Hansen said.

Kult originally joined the team as a freshman after being recruited by former head coach Rod Henkel and qualified for state that year. 

“Mr. Henkel recruited me in the hallway,” Kult said. “I was like, ‘I’ll just give it a shot.’”

Although he qualified for state as a freshman, Kult was still in search of new experiences. As a sophomore, he decided to play football. This experience led Kult to become closer to a lot of his peers and is something he’ll carry with him forever.

“It’s definitely different, and it’s something I’ll never forget,” Kult said. “It just wasn’t for me.”

Although he enjoyed his time during football, Kult liked the atmosphere on the cross country team more and decided cross country was a better fit. He returned to the team for his junior season and the team’s last season with Henkel.

“It’s just something really special they have going on,” Kult said.

Even with the change in coaching this year, the runners have adapted and continued to thrive on the course. Kult works to keep the team on track and feels that they will continue to work hard in the coming years.

“[I try to] make sure everyone’s getting to work on time and not jacking around,” Kult said.

Not only the lead runner, Kult is also a key part of the social dynamic on the team. He helps the other runners push themselves on the course and challenges them off the course too.

“He keeps things interesting. He keeps things light,” Hansen said. “He’s never satisfied… he always wants to do better and I think that’s something to be said for him.”

Every time we ask him to do more, he is going right up to that line and even beyond it sometimes.

— Alyssa Hansen

Kult has stepped into a major leadership role on the team, and the team feeds off his success.

“Whenever we’re doing something, you know he’s always gonna give it his all, so you know you’re always gonna give it your all,” senior Carter Tichota said. “You try to stick with him as long as you can.”

According to Hansen, Yutan’s district is considered a tough one, but Kult has challenged himself and others to work harder every day to achieve their goal of qualifying for state.

“Every time we ask him to do more, he is going right up to that line and even beyond it sometimes,” Hansen said. 

As a senior, this will be Kult’s last chance to qualify for state cross country. 

“Specifically, I’m trying to get the team to state because I know it’s been a while since we’ve done that,” Kult said. “It’d be a goal of mine to get us back there before I’m gone.”