Cody Achilles had a tough decision to make on Thursday. Either he stays home and compete in the McPherson Invitational with his cross country teammates, or travel to Andover Central with his Bullpup soccer team. He decided to stay in McPherson, and it worked in his favor as he was the top finisher in the boys' division.
For Achilles, it's just another day as a multi-sport athlete. However, he made it clear that cross country was his No. 1 priority, and that edged out his decision of staying for the invitational.
"The deciding factor was cross country being my primary sport and that this our home meet," Achilles said. "We only get one home meet a year. So, I really wanted to run here, being it the last home meet for the seniors."
Sometimes Achilles has an ironman mentality, where he would try to be at two places at once. He'll do it during practices, and during his sporting events. Last month, Achilles had a meet at Lake Barton on the same night the Bullpup soccer team faced Salina South High School at home. Once he finished his meet, he drove straight McPherson Stadium and suited up just in time for the second half of the game. If he wanted to, he would've made the same effort to rejoin his soccer teammates after his home meet, but that would cut it too close, even for the junior harrier.
"A lot of times there is enough time that I can run cross country, and then get back on time for at least most of the game, which I did the most that I can. This was an exception," Achilles said.
It was no question Achilles made the right decision when he took first in the home meet. Before the race, he made a bet with Head Coach Aspen Lott that if he was the top finisher, he gets to choose what workout Lott and his teammates have to do in their next practice. Lott lost that bet but praised him for his determination as a runner.
"Cody is the one who will be self-motivated no matter what, " Lott said. "He told me today that 'I'm going to get back in the 18s, and I'm going to win it."
Next Invitational for the Bullpups will be at Newton Centennial Park next Saturday at 9:30 a.m.
Contact Peter Holland Jr. by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or follow him on Twitter@Petes_Picks_