Wakefield brings in a star sophomore distance runner in Madeline Shook out of West High School in Knoxville Tennessee. As a freshman with West Shook clocked 18:44 for the 5K and took 9th at the TSSAA State Cross Country Championship. For reference on a North Carolina course most of our readers are familiar with, Shook also ran 18:50 at Foot Locker South last fall for 52nd overall. Her success only continued on the track as she ran 5:06.44 at NBON taking 5th in the Freshman Mile. Her converted 1600 is 5:04.66 which would have been NC#11 last fall and would be the #8 returner in the 1600 coming into this season.
Shook kicked off her season at Wakefield running a 20:19 in the Girls Open Race at Wendell Park Early Bird Invitational. Despite running in the open race Shook's time was faster than the Championship race winner as she won the event by over three minutes.
Shook will be a factor in the NCHSAA 4A East Regional and NCHSAA 4A Classification this fall and should certainly be in all-state contention. She'd be the #2 returner in the region behind 17:58 girl Natalie Tyner.
Shook stated "I would like to stay focused on the personal goals I have set for myself while adapting to the new racing atmosphere and be the best teammate I can be."
West High School coach Patrick Gildea, who will continue to coach and advise Madeline, had high regards about Shook. "Madeline had an exceptional freshman year at West High in Knoxville. She left Tennessee as one of the top runners, moves to North Carolina and has goals that she's set for herself and she'll strive towards them while working to be the best teammate she can at Wakefield. I will be important that Madeline is placed in the invitationals that are appropriate for her ability and give her the best opportunity to succeed. The courses and environment will all be new for her so that is an adjustment. Madeline has shown the propensity to compete at a high level, and handles each situation uniquely, not like many others her age. Madeline understands she needs to manages this transition in a positive manner and we fully expect that she will and the experience will be valuable for her."
On the track this bodes very well for a Wakefield team that is projected to be the favorites in the NCHSAA 4A Outdoor Team titles. 4A returning rankings have Wakefield projected with 62 team points, 19 points ahead of Rocky River in second.