As a middle-schooler in Wisconsin, Kyle Zygarlicke’s go-to sport was basketball. But when he was roped into volunteering for a cross country meet in seventh grade, he discovered another sport he might be interested in trying.

“As I saw runners almost collapsing near the finish line, something inside me said that it actually looks fun,” Zygarlicke said. “I always say that runners are a different breed of people, and I was instantly hooked after my first few meets in seventh grade. The drive to individually get better every day, at every meet keeps you going.”