THOMAS – For some time now, Emma Perkes has been searching for something athletic that she could do, not that she was overly athletic, but she wanted to belong to an athletic team of some sort.
Emma was already involved in band, playing the trumpet, learning how to march and so forth, and she loved school, but something was missing.
That is when she was approached by Snake River cross country coach Mike Kirkham about running. Not just running, but running competitively as a member of the cross country team and eventually as a member of the Snake River Panthers track and field team.
“I had been looking for something else to do when the team approached me and I thought, ‘Why not’?” Emma Perkes said. “I am so glad that I chose to do this because of all the neat people that I have met and it is amazing how much I have improved just during the summer!”
Perkes has been a dream to work with this summer, according to Kirkham.
“Emma is really coachable and starting to really show improvement,” Kirkham said. “She took a bunch of time off of her best times during our Fun Run on July 31. It is great to see that kind of improvement.”
Perkes may have started off the summer slowly, only running a couple of miles per day, but as the time has gone by, she has increased her total number of miles per week and is over the 150-mile mark since the end of May. She is on pace to be considerably over 150 miles total and will easily surpass the 200 mile mark before fall cross country practices begin in mid-August.
“The more that I am running, the easier it seems to be to get the miles in,” Perkes said. “I am pretty confident that I will be able to get in the 300 mile club next year for sure. That would be pretty cool.”
Perkes had improved so much that she earned a spot on the “Black” team for the end of summer workouts Fun Run and earned her first cross country medal for doing so. She was proudly wearing her medal when the Fun Run was completed and can’t wait to earn more medals this fall. She is anticipating being a member of the girls’ team and competing all fall.
With Perkes on the verge of being one of the stars on the team, and with the team already loaded with the likes of Reagan VanOrden, Morgan Sensenbach, Kierra Jensen, and Kylee Morgan set to go, Emma will round out the top five and this team will compete for another district title come October
The team is already calling the Eastern Idaho State Fairgrounds their home course and they have won two straight district tournaments and will be looking for their third straight this fall. The course at the fairgrounds is the only cross country course where you can sit in the grandstands and see three different points of the race as the runners maneuver their way around the fairgrounds.