For The Tribune

At the coaxing of some friends, and some convincing by Seymour girls’ cross-country coach Spencer Sunbury in the summer, Rebekah Franke decided to run this fall.

Franke’s pleased she made that decision.

“I decided this was my senior year and I would re-join cross-country and I’m really glad I did,” Franke said. “Most of my closest friends run. They’ve been wanting me to run all four years. It gave me a good opportunity to hang out with them, and to have something to do after school instead of going home and doing nothing.”

Franke ran cross-country in middle school and her freshman year, but sat out her sophomore and junior years.

“I remember, at the fair, I saw Spencer,” Franke said. “I told him, ‘I don’t know if I’m going to try it this year. I might do it for fun,’ and he told me he enjoyed having me on the team.”

Even though she joined the team just prior to fall practices beginning, she made steady progress.

“I made top-12. I ran (Hoosier Hills) conference, and then after conference my ankle started hurting and I ran really bad so I went to the doctor and he told me I couldn’t run the next few races,” Franke said. “I was devastated because I was starting to PR by a big chunk each time. I wanted to keep improving my times but I didn’t get to.”

Franke said she enjoyed the variety of the courses she ran on, and had her best time of 25:25 she ran in the HHC meet at Ceraland in Columbus.

“Ceraland was my favorite course because a mile of it is in the woods, and the woods is my favorite part to run in because it’s not as sunny and I feel like I go faster in the woods,” she said. “I liked flat courses but I feel the one at Ceraland _ there were hills in the woods- but it kept you pushing yourself in certain places, and I feel like when I’m on a flat course I stay at one pace and I might not stay in the time that I should because I’m not paying attention.”

She said the second time the Owls ran HHC or area schools, she recognized runners from those schools and tried to keep up with them during races.

“I always picked someone in front of me to try and stay with or pass, so I always tried to get the person in front of me,” Franke said. “I remember at Brown County, there was a race with the Carmel girls and there were so many of them. I was in packs of blue the whole time so I tried to keep up with them and pass them. That gave me a lot of competition.”

The senior believes in the importance of keeping a strong mental game.

“Spencer always says, ‘Your mind is what is in charge’, especially in running and swimming where you really have to push yourself the whole time,” Franke said. “It’s important to remember that you can always push more and you just need to overcome that mindset that you can’t do it anymore because it’s going to hurt. You just need to keep pushing.”

Franke said she is unsure if she is going to run track in the spring. In middle school she was a sprinter and hurdler and said she enjoyed hurdles.

She has enjoyed attending Seymour, and the relationships made through academics and sport.

“Seymour has a lot of good AP (advanced placement) courses to offer that other schools don’t have,” Franke said. “I’ve been in seven or eight AP classes and it will help me get all those college credits, and it gave me a challenge. I feel a lot of the regular classes just aren’t challenging enough for me.

“I think the No. 1 thing in both school and cross-country I’ll remember the most is my friends who were with me, and getting to hang out with them, and also them challenging me.”


Name: Rebekah Franke

School: Seymour High School

Parents: Tom and Nancy Franke

Siblings: Ben, Rachel, Matthew, Daniel

Sports: cross-country 2 years

Organizations: National Honor Society, Fellowship of Christian Athletes, Peace Lutheran Church youth group

Plans after high school: attend college to study elementary education

Favorite food: Fettucine Alfredo

Favorite TV show: Friends

Favorite movie: The Santa Clause

Favorite team: San Francisco 49ers

Author photo
Arv Koontz is a sports correspondent for The (Seymour) Tribune.