Boys Middle School Cross Country, Boys Varsity Cross Country · “Tag,” cross country style

Cross country is usually a fairly simple sporting event, except for one meet.

KV hosted its own Hokum Kareem, a special format in cross country found mostly in Indiana.  In a continuous two person relay, duos of runners teamed up, taking turns to race over a kilometer course:  run, rest, run, rest…until covering a kilometer loop five times.  As the competition spreads out, the finish/exchange area rivals O’Hare Airport, with a constant flow of incoming and outgoing runners, decked out in team colors.

Bryce Gawronski (12) and Danny Rockley (10) threw down fairly consistent times, placing third amongst the top male tandems.  Isaac Tillema (11) and Bryce Niewoehner (10) followed in 4th, with rookies Denver Smith (10) and Trevor Conley (9) in 6th.  No team scores were kept, though the Kougars would have topped the field, consisting of Hebron, Kouts, Lowell, Morgan Township, and North Newton.

History of the Hokum Karem

Featuring two-runner teams, this relay format was the brainchild of Coach Huntsmen at Wabash college in 1962.  Collegiate runners alternated running 1 mile course, each covering the distance three times, making for a 6 mile relay.  It quickly grew in popularity as an early season warmup, catching on at the high school, and even middle school, ranks.  Although teams in other states participate in the Hokum Karem, it is largely an Indiana event.

Last year, KV replaced the customary 3 x 1 mile format with a 5 x 1 kilometer formula, a change that proved popular with runners.  Runners cover approximately the same total distance, but the shorter distance–and shorter rest between efforts–suits the early season fitness level of HS cross country runners better.