WINFIELD, W.Va. — The last two Mondays have been two of the more memorable days in Aaron Withrow’s life.
Withrow, a cross country and track and field standout at Winfield High School, signed a letter-of-intent to compete in both sports at the University of Kentucky on Monday inside the WHS library.
“Obviously I’ve put in a lot of hard work over the last couple of years so it’s nice to come here and sign and take that next step in my life,” Withrow said.
The signing ceremony came just a week after Withrow was named the 2018-2019 Gatorade West Virginia Boys Cross Country Runner of the Year.
Withrow had narrowed down his final three choices to a trio of Southeastern Conference schools, as he was also considering Alabama and Tenessee before ultimately settling on the Wildcats.
“On my visits there, I just felt like I got along well with the coaching staff and the guys on the team,” Withrow said. “I just liked the environment. It’s not too far from home, which my mom likes that.”
This past season, Withrow won his second straight Class AA-A individual state championship in cross country, crossing the finish line in 16:02.05 — more than 40 seconds ahead of his closest competitor.
Withrow is also the defending state champion in track in the 800, 1600 and 3,200, and is preparing to defend those titles ahead of his final season at the prep level.
“I’m really excited for this season. This is probably the best couple months of training I think I’ve had in my career,” Withrow said. “I’ve been fortunate to stay healthy this winter, so I’m really anxious to get back out there and get back to racing.”
While proud of his past accomplishments, Withrow admitted his focus is on the future.
“What I’ve done in the past doesn’t really matter. I know every day I’m still going to have to go out there and work hard and show up at the races and prove it,” Withrow said.
Withrow, at 6-foot-3 and 170 pounds, is excited for what lies ahead.
“The biggest thing I’m looking forward to in college is probably just being on a team with a bunch of guys that are good as me and a lot of them better and just being around them,” he said. “I’m going to push myself every day and hopefully get a lot better.”