Ski & Middy
Nathaniel Cebulski
Nathaniel's nickname is Ski
Daniel Middendorf
Daniel's nickname is Middy
Daniel Middendorf and Nathaniel Cebulski joined our team as two of the worst runners we had join our team in years, but they left the program inspiring the team to great success due to their unwillingness to give up.  They drove the entire team from the back of the pack.  When most other runners would have quit these two had such internal perseverance that they refused to.  Their unwillingness to give up in workouts and races motivated the top runners on our team to give a little more.  The top runners would always say that if Ski and Middy don't give up and give everything they have for the team then we will too.  The power of a runner who doesn't give up is drastically influential on a team.

Daniel and Nathaniel opened up their first week of practice by running in the mid 30s for a 3 mile run.  They opened their freshman seasons by running a 24:59 and 25:01 at the Charleston Invitational.  They ran the 5th and 6th slowest time of any runner from any team at this invitational. They placed 81st and 84th out of 89 runners in the freshman 2 mile race at the Springfield invitational.   They placed 553rd and 554th out of 554 runners at the Peoria Notre Dame Invitational as freshmen.  Despite placing dead last and running in the 24s they remained determined.  Throughout the season we had to give them separate workouts from the team as they just couldn't keep up.  Yet they wouldn't give up either.  They would run 2.6 miles 20 minutes slower than the majority of the team would run 5 miles.  Whereas most runners would have gotten discouraged to the point of quitting they wouldn't.  It really speaks volumes of how strong their character is.

By the end of their careers both were on the News Gazette prep leaders list and making it onto our team's fastest top times list for invitationals that our team races in.  Nathaniel just missed the 17s by running an 18:02 and Daniel just missed the 16s when he ran a 17:02.  Nathaniel left our program as the #9 runner on the most improved over a career list by improving 6 minutes and 40 seconds in just 4 years.  Daniel was #4 on our most improved over a career list with a 7 minute and 26 second improvement in 4 years.  Daniel was named athlete of the week for for October of his senior year.  They left our program teaching us all a ton about determination. 

"The one major experience I've had that has shaped me into who I am today is my participation in cross country.  I first started cross country in the 7th grade after my friends finally persuaded me to join the team.  I relatively enjoyed the sport during my years in junior high, but my experience drastically changed when I transitioned into high school.

The transition between junior high and high school cross country was very difficult.  The workouts were two, if not three times as hard as they were before.  Being one of the worst runners on the team this transition hit me pretty hard and I even considered quitting the team multiple times, but I was unwilling to give up and made it through my first season with a solid amount of improvement.  My improvement motivated me to see how far I can work my way up as a runner.  The only thing that shocked me more than the difficult workouts was how nice all of my teammates and coaches turned out to be.  I honestly expected my upperclassmen to be far more hostile and not care about us freshmen, but they turned out to be a really nice group who legitimately cared about their teammates.  Both my teammates and coaches supported me throughout my struggle to improve.  The support from my teammates is what motivated me to never give up and prevented me from getting discouraged over how brutal the sport can be.

All of the time I've spent on the high school cross country team has been an invaluable experience for me.  I've really grown to respect the sport and my teammates, who I can basically call a second family.  My time in cross country has also proved that I can overcome any obstacle I may face.  I've really loved my experience so far in cross country and can't wait to see what will happen this season."  - written by Daniel Middendorf before his senior season.

Daniel's best times

Nathaniel's best times
7th grade

 14:39 - 2 miles
8th grade
15:05 - 2 miles
Freshman year
Sophomore year
 18:51 (17:44*)
Junior year
19:11 (18:33*)
 17:35 (17:02*)
Senior year
18:19 (18:02*)