Markee Low is a four year varsity runner, a 2018 state cross country qualifier and a member of the Camanche track and field team.
She’s an avid runner and a senior leader for the Indians – she has been for a long time.
What people don’t necessarily expect from her is her other sport: baton twirling.
Low can be seen at various Camanche events launching batons high into the air with a series of dance and gymnastics moves to boot, catching them with grace and precision.
Being a majorette may seem like a surprising path for the senior cross country runner, but not if you know her family background. Really, she’s been around the art since she was a small child.
“My grandma did it when she was in high school, she was a majorette,” Low said. “Then my mom was a teacher. I think [I started] in second grade].”
She glows in her position as a majorette for the Indians, dazzling people at halftime of home football games (and throughout the rest of the year as well). Her favorite part in fact is working up new routines to show off her skills. She shows off the combination of dance, gymnastics and artistic expression, while launching her tools stories above her.
“I love doing halftime of the football games,” Low said. “Everyone is there and the atmosphere is great.”
So even though a lot of her position is performance based, she sees it as both an art and a sport.
“I think it’s both,” Low said. “There are physical aspects like practicing a sport and then the art is more of a performance.”
It’s not always a common thing to see a runner with another specialty, especially one that’s so opposite of what she does on the cross country course.
Not to mention it’s not like she uses her hands when she’s running a 5k.
“People who run, usually it’s their main sport,” Low said. “And hand-eye coordination is a big part.”
But she’s mastered it. She works on it every day and has actually looked into staying a majorette. She knows that both Augustana College and Iowa State University have programs where she can continue and has considered that greatly in her college search.
Meanwhile, she still has goals as a runner as well.
She qualified for the Iowa High School State Cross Country Championships as a junior for the first time in her career. That leaves some extra motivation to make it back to Fort Dodge.
“I really want to go again this year and improve on what I did last year,” Low said.
She had a slower start to the season than in the past, but isn’t fretting. With a couple of weeks still remaining until the state qualifying meets, she’s seeing time drops every time she’s out there.
“I think I’ve been picking up my speed,” Low said. “I just needed to get back into running and it took a while. I’m getting better every meet and that’s good.”
In both her specialties, running and majorette, she’s learned a lot. Specifically, she’s learned from both that practice is what makes you better whether it’s practicing a specific type of baton throw over and over or training your legs for a faster three mile run.
“Practice is a lot of it,” Low said. “When you go over stuff a lot or you run a lot, it’s more comfortable and that makes it easier.”