EAST PALESTINE, Ohio (WYTV) – According to East Palestine’s Cole Rutledge, “running is an acquired taste”.
Over the past four years, the Bulldogs’ senior has built up quite an appetite for competition. Last week, he qualified for the Regional Cross Country Meet for a third time. Plus, Cole is a straight-A student at East Palestine, and now our “33 Student Athlete of the Week”.
“[Cross country] is not just whose faster, you can really work on the strategy of it and the endurance,” said Rutledge. “It comes down to who works harder more often than not which is a good thing.”
If you’re looking for Cole, he’s probably running…then running some more!
During the season, he logs up to 55 miles per week and is the top runner for the Bulldogs with a PR of 17.04.
“You feel like you know you’ve all worked for it together. we’ve been out here for the beginning of june some of us have been out here since and to see that work pay off as a group, it’s a really good feeling for all of us.
This fall, Cole and his teammates qualified for Regionals as a team for the first time since 2002. Cole leads the charge in that group as a two-year captain. He also plays a key role on the track team in the spring.
“It’s going to be bittersweet, it’s going to be good to get out to college but running here has been phenomenal,” said Rutledge. “Both teams, track and cross country have just been a great experience, we’ve really gotten close a lot of people it’s a great dynamic.”
Cole hopes to continue his cross country career at the next level. In the classroom, he’s on track to be valedictorian with a 4.0 GPA, while taking all honors classes his senior year.
“That’s part of the competition, I’ve always started out expected to do good in elementary school and it kind of just stuck all the way through to high school where I don’t really accept much below the top.”