Vanderkolk Recaps Championship Race, Sets Goals for Outdoor

Kevin Vanderkolk's senior year was a good one.

And he finished it off where he started it - in Huntsville, Alabama.

"It wasn't my best race, but it was fun. I've had a great season, so I can't really complain," Vanderkolk told MileSplit's Cory Mull after placing 81st at the RunningLane National Cross Country Championships with a 15:23.93 on Saturday.

The future Belmont Bruin ran his career-best on the same course at The Southern Showcase back in September.

This race was a different experience. But the Brentwood High School senior still enjoyed getting to race at John Hunt Running Park again.

"There were a lot more people," he said. "It was cool to be able to run in a group like that. Usually during the season, you don't get big groups and you can't push yourself as much."

Brentwood's guys squad placed 21st. Its girls team was fifth in the season finale for many Tennessee athletes.

Vanderkolk says he personally enjoys the challenge of continuing the season after the state cross country meet. After his second-place finish at state, Vanderkolk and his team went up to Terre Haute for the XC Town USA Meet of Champions too a couple weeks ago.

"After state, we always try to run a few postseason races," he added. "This year was really cool because we got to do two or three. I think we had high expectations, and our team ran well...we had some big PRs as a team."

Before he heads down the road to begin his college career as a Belmont Bruin, Vanderkolk still has big goals in his final semester as a Brentwood Bruin.

He's hoping to take that last step up the podium this spring.

"I want to try to be a state champion, and I think that's very possible the way I've been running cross country."