Presents: State Meet Memories Part IV in preparation for the 2008 Kentucky State Cross Country Meet has caught with several former Kentucky State Cross Country Champions asking them to describe their memories of winning a state championship.  This is the first of five installments in the “State Meet Memories” series.


Josh Buffolino, Shelby County High School
Year of State Title: 1995
Course Location: Kentucky Horse Park
Distance: 5000 Meter Run

Winning the state championship in the fall of ’95 was so special to me because I overcame injury to do it.  A couple of days after the first invitational meet of the season I discovered that I had a stress fracture in my foot.  From the middle of August until early October I was on crutches and in a walking boot because I couldn’t put any weight on the foot.  When I was able to start running again, my expectations for the rest of the season were not very high.  Winning the state meet that year so shortly after the injury I think surprised everybody, including myself.  I have to thank God for giving me patience, my parents for keeping me encouraged and upbeat during the injury, and my coach, Rob Belwood, for his constant encouragement, coaching, and guidance throughout my time as a runner for Shelby County.  Winning the state championship that year is something I will always remember and cherish.

Jenny Wimsatt, Warren East High School
Year of State Title: 2000
Course Location: KY Horse Park
Course Distance: 5000 Meters

One of the happiest times of my life. It was not only about me winning, but my team winning. Cross Country will always be special to me!


Matthew Shoulta, St. Mary High School

Year of State Title: 2004, 2005

Course Location: Kentucky Horse Park

Course Distance: 5000 Meters


My favorite memory of winning state, is celebrating after the race with my coach, brother, and mentor Charlie Shoulta, who was the only person who believed I had a chance to win. After my sub par finishes freshman and sophomore year, it appeared I would finish off my career as an underachieving what-could-have-been. He became my coach the start of my junior year and the rest is history.


Maddie Schueler, Sacred Heart Academy

Year of State Title: 2002 and 2003
Course Location: KY Horse Park
Course Distance: 5000 Meters

I think the best memory for me would have to be my team also taking the state title. It was awesome to share that with the girls I'd worked so hard with all year long! I will never forget those years and the friendships along the way!


Eric Van Laningham, Boone County High School
Year of State Title: 1990
Course Location: Old Kentucky Horse Park
Distance: 5000 Meters

My State CC Title was a life changing experience.  I had just moved to Kentucky from California 10 months before.  Few people knew who I was and I was not one of the favorites to win the race.  Even though I had only won 3 races all year and had no major wins under my belt, I expected to win.  My new girlfriend and future wife Michele Marshall won the girls race before mine and was an inspiration to me.  I realized that anything was possible.  I led from the start, got passed at mile 2 by runner up Kevin Schwartz and considered giving in.  When he didn't leave me in the dust, I passed him back and crossed the line first, all with one shoe untied.  Running has been a major part of my life ever since.