Trevan Bischoff and Josh Saeman making most of their final cross country season
Trevan Bischoff figured there was no point.
The season was shortened. There was no state meet on the schedule.
Plus, he landed a job.
Who has time for cross country?
“I thought about quitting,” Bischoff said. “It’s not going to be a real season. It’s weird, in general.”
Josh Saeman said no. Absolutely no. There was no way Bischoff was going to end what they had started. They had not crossed the finish line yet.
After all, Saeman and Bischoff started representing Hockinson schools as seventh-graders at the middle school. They were going to finish, six seasons later, as seniors.
“We have so many memories together, so many exciting things,” Saeman said. “I just think it’s so much fun to get out here and run. … I just reminded him how fun it would be, really.”
Today, Bischoff and Saeman have the top two times in the league going into the league championship cross country meet. Next week, they will compete at the district meet.
This cross country season lasted just a few weeks. But it was memorable. And historical.
Bischoff is now the school’s record holder. He recorded a time of 16 minutes, 4 seconds on a 5-kilometer course last week.
“I’m really grateful,” Bischoff said. “My dad (Troy) told me not to quit. My coach. And Josh, especially.
“Without him, I definitely would have quit.”
Of course, if Saeman had not talked Bischoff out of quitting, Saeman would be the No. 1 runner for the Hawks.
No worries, though. They are friendly rivals. They push each other.
And who is to say that Bischoff will stay No. 1 in these final two races?
“I’ve been working so hard,” Saeman said. “Now that Trevan is ahead of me now, I want to beat him so bad.”
This has been going on now for six intense yet friendly seasons.
“We make it competitive but also fun at the same time,” Bischoff said. “We try to be No. 1, but at the same time, best friends.”
“Our bond, it’s incomparable to anything else really,” Saeman said. “We’re just competitors and friends. It’s awesome.”
In middle school, it was Bischoff who had the upper hand in races.
The first three years of high school, Saeman took over the top spot among the two.
Now, Bischoff is back in the lead. Bischoff broke the school record by 11 seconds. On that day, Saeman was 12 seconds behind Bischoff — meaning Saeman was just a second from matching the school record.
That was one incredible race.
Bischoff said it really was a mental block that he had to get over in order to succeed. First, he was not even sure he would compete. Then when he committed, he said he had “no clue” that he would ever run this fast.
A few weeks later, it clicked.
“It’s definitely mental. If you believe that you can win and run faster, then you will,” Bischoff said. “It’s weird, but it definitely is true.”
Oh, and the training helps.
Melissa Peterson is the team’s new coach this season, but she has been a Hockinson cross country parent for eight years. Her oldest son Kyle used to be the record holder until Bischoff’s run last week.
Peterson has been a witness to the Bischoff-Saeman chemistry for the entire ride with Hockinson schools. Bischoff might be the record holder, but Saeman, she said, should get credit, too.
“My philosophy is teamwork. You get someone with you, and you work together, and you’re going to push each other to the next level. That’s what they have completely embraced,” Peterson said.
“This year, every practice, they are right next to each other. They just want to encourage each other. … They know how to push each other.”
That bond was even more important this pandemic season.
“Without each other, we wouldn’t be as fast, for sure,” Bischoff said.
Saeman said the entire Hockinson community is supportive, but there is something special about the cross country team.
“We’re even a closer family,” Saeman said.
These cross country brothers are nearing the finish line to their high school careers.
“Cross country is a great sport, and I’m glad I got to run with Trevan this whole time,” Saeman said.