Sports Spotlight: Kyle Olson and Yuji Wakimoto

By Mark Garrity
Published: September 2009

Recently, South was named “Best Sports School in Massachusetts by Sports Illustrated magazine. The Cross Country program is chiefly responsible for this rating. Every year, the runners are ranked at the top of the Dual County League (DCL) and sometimes even at the top of national rankings.

The Boys’ Cross Country team in particular had a very strong season last year. Ranked as the best Cross Country team in the state for a large portion of the season, they finished strong when they won the DCL Championship.

They also took third place at the Division 1 Championships and seventh place at the All-State meet. If the Lions hope to repeat as DCL champions, they will need the leadership of captains Yuji Wakimoto and Kyle Olson.

Remarkably, Wakimoto started running Cross Country when he arrived at South, making the Varsity team as a freshman. A key contributor to the team over the past three years, Wakimoto looks to lead the team once again this season. Unfortunately, a stress fracture has been hampering him for about five months.

“While I wasn’t running, my coach still helped me out with how I should cross-train or how I could stay in shape. That encouraged me and motivated me to keep dreaming and training for a comeback, Wakimoto said.

Although slowed down by his injury, he still thinks that the Lions will have success this season and in the future, thanks to the depth that the team possesses.

“We have a couple solid sophomores who work hard and have big potential, but this year’s freshman class is huge with lots of guys that have talent and work ethic. In four years, Cross Country might be faster than ever, Wakimoto said.

He plans to run in college and feels optimistic about the recruiting process. “I have already talked to some coaches, and it’s great since they’re all nice people.

Senior Kyle Olson has also been running Cross Country at South since his freshman year. After competing on the middle school circuit as part of the Oak Hill Cross Country team, Olson gained confidence. He made the Varsity team as a sophomore and has not looked back since. Working very hard at his craft, Olson spent eight weeks running between four and seven and a half miles almost every day.

Olson attributes a lot of his development, and the overall development of the team, to South’s great coaches. “I honestly think that without the coaches, I, personally, and the team, as a whole, would not be where we currently are. The coaches have really helped me get motivated and mature both physically and mentally during my years in the program.

Olson also participates on the Indoor Track and Field team, and although he has had some great moments in his Cross Country career, his most memorable moment occurred on the indoor track.

“The best moment of my entire running career probably came during indoor track last year when I was part of the 4 x 800 m relay that won the DCL Championship. It was the most exciting thing I have ever been a part of.

Olson said that he is unsure as to his future concerning the sport. “At this moment in time, I don’t see myself running in college just due to the issue of time. I have been told, ‘Ëœif you want to run seriously, then it consumes your life,’ he said.

But Olson claims there is a possibility that someday he could suit up for his collegiate team.

“By the end of spring. I may completely change my mind, he said.

This year’s Cross Country team is focused and highly motivated. Led by excellent coaches and accomplished captains, the Lions look poised to pounce on the DCL Championship.

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