Cross Country Profile: Luke Menzies

Senior Luke Menzies reflects on his experiences as a four-year cross country runner.


Luke Menzies at Foss Park after he finished his race

Running isn’t for everyone. A lot of people think it is crazy when others say they just got done with a 8-mile run. That’s exactly what Antioch Sequoits Cross Country team continues to do day in and day out, led by senior captain Luke Menzies. It all started for Menzies at Antioch Upper Grade School in 6th grade, when he joined the cross country team. Before he was a Sequoit, Menzies was a Warrior stacking up miles. His younger years led him to be the leader of the boys varsity team in high school, for the Antioch Sequoits. 

This being his final year, he has lots of aspirations and challenges to overcome in order to lead the Sequoits to success one more time.

My personal goal is all-conference, but, for the team, I want to go downstate,” Menzies said. “I want to be remembered as a good captain that really made an effort to create a positive environment.”

These goals only scratch the surface of the things the cross country team wants to accomplish this year. With the team’s front runner, senior Charlie Smith, looking to leave a mark on the history of Antioch, the team is aiming to qualify for team state. Along with Smith’s leadership, Menzies also takes on the role of captain and ensures that the runners are prepared for their races. Head coach Christopher Bailey has high hopes for the remainder of the season and believes the leadership on the team improves their overall performance.

“Again, I think it’s the leadership that he brings [and] when its time for a warmup or cool down, he knows what to do, he doesn’t need the coaches to tell him,” Bailey said. “I think that’s something he developed over the years because he wasn’t like this freshmen year.”

Menzies has a decorated background in wrestling, being on varsity he has continued to be a role model for the younger kids, with his hardworking, but calm and relaxed, demeanor. In every sport he does, Menzies continues to take the lead and make sure things are done correctly.

“His humor and laid back personality, I think, trickles down to the other guys, he just has such a calm demeanor about him,” Bailey said. “He has such a calm feeling even in those times of pressure and anxiety.”

Menzies was not always like this and with any great athlete, success takes time and lots of discipline. He didn’t walk into cross country being told that he was a great runner and his job was to lead his teammates. He has grown as a runner and as an individual, his friends notice it, his teammates notice it and his coaches do, too. 

“He’s gotten stronger, he’s gone from a frosh-soph guy to a steady junior varsity runner to a regular on the varsity lineup,” Bailey said. “I think with time, he had older guys influence him, specifically wrestlers, who do similar sports like him. When he was a freshman, he had guys to look up to and learn from which has helped shaped him into what he does today.”

Menzies continues to surprise his teammates, coaches and even himself with his commitment to the cross country team. As he finishes off his last season as a Sequoit, his legacy at Antioch will not be forgotten.

“He is appreciated; his coaches appreciate him; his team appreciates him; the program appreciates him,” Bailey said. “He’s leaving here respected and leaving a good imprint on the team.”

When someone graduates, they have to continue on with the rest of their life and enter the next chapter. Although, Menzies will be gone, what he did for the program and their favorite experiences together will not be forgotten by his teammates or his coaches. 

“Our yearly trip to Peoria is always around his birthday, so it’s always been fun to embarrass him at the pizza place with the team,” Bailey said.

Carrying the team’s traditions through the season one last time has been memorable for Menzies. Senior Josh Linck, Menzies’s practice partner and good friend since freshman year, had some things to say about him, too. 

“My favorite memories with Luke during cross country are the practices because we run together,” Linck said. 

Menzies has only a couple of weeks left in his last year as a cross country runner, and the rest of the school year as a Sequoit. The imprint he’s leaving on his school, as well as his peers, will be something to help the younger kids find their own path. As for Menzies, he will always have memories and a cross country family with him.