“I’ve been involved with the varsity program for four years,” he says. “I’m comfortable around the coaches and I have really respectful teammates.”
The oldest member of the cross country varsity squad is in tenth grade and the youngest is in eighth grade.
“This year we got new coaches,” he says. “This whole year was a young year. We had a lot of young guys come out. Not too many seniors.”
The Palmer cross country team had a good year, winning third at the district meet.
“We are very proud of ourselves,” he says. Next up is track and field, where he runs the 800, the mile and the two miles.
The same coaches will also handle the track and field team.
“We have so much potential,” he says.
In his events, Stoner has proven to be a winner.
“In the 1600, I won our conference meet in middle school,” he says. “What’s interesting is that middle school state is that you qualify by time.”
His time was good enough to qualify for state. He says he had a terrible race but is happy he got to experience it.
“The competition was pretty high,” he says. “It was a good indicator and preparation for high school.”
Since he’s a runner, it makes sense that the majority of his community service hours come from volunteering at local marathons, including the Miami Marathon and the Michelob Ultra Marathon and Half.
“It consists of helping out in terms of setting things up,” he says. “My sister and I enjoy handing out medals to the athletes finishing their marathons. It’s amazing.”
Right now, he says he’s too young to run marathons.
“After I finish my high school career and maybe my college career in running,” he says.
The reasons to wait include studies that indicate it’s not good for younger athletes.
“Also my coach doesn’t recommend it too much,” he says. “During college track and field they run eight kilometers and 10k. They don’t do marathons.”
He began running early in life.
“In elementary school, I thought I was the faster person ever because I could run an eight-minute half-mile,” he says. “My middle school was offering a cross country team. I get to middle school and high school and I’m the slowest guy on the team!”
However, he did improve and qualified for states.
Stoner is also involved in Palmer’s Journalism Club. The club is basically a newspaper since the students write articles on community-wide things and focus on schoolbased stories.
“I have a lot of fun with it. We are currently in the building process of the journalism club,” he says. “I think the articles are pretty substantial.”
The articles will be posted to the online paper.
He’s also active in the Alumni Association Club.
“We reach out to the alumni and invite them to the homecoming game,” he says. “That was a big thing for us. We had a good amount of alumni back.”
The club is in the process of planning different events for alumni to attend.
By Linda Rodriguez Bernfeld