Bennett battles back from injuries

Elk Lake graduate Will Bennett, who was sidelined from running last spring by serious injuries has battled back and is starting his freshman season on Shippensburg University’s cross country team.

BY KEVIN WOODRUFF

ElkLakegraduate Will Bennett is fighting hard to make a comeback after suffering serious injuries while cleaning up from prom last spring.

Bennett, 18, ofLawton, fell from a lift injuring his wrists, jaw and legs and had to be flown toGeisingerCommunityMedicalCenterinScranton.

In just a few short months since the May accident, Bennett has graduated high school and moved on to the next chapter of his life atShippensburgUniversity.

The former Warrior distance runner was only cleared to run in late July, but feels things are going well so far with the Raider team.

“I had a five pound weight restriction on my wrists up until two weeks ago,” Bennett said. “I was only cleared to run the end of July.”

Although Bennett feels he is far behind on his training efforts, he is thankful that he was able to heal from his injuries.

“It was definitely a disappointment during my senior track season,” Bennett said. “But now, I just feel thankful that I was able to heal.”

On top of missing the District II Class AA championship which had him seeded high in both the 800 and 1600, Bennett said he was frustrated by not being able to do day-to-day activities.

“Just don’t being able to do everyday things was really difficult,” Bennett said. “With my jaw broken I couldn’t even eat solid foods. I was on a liquid diet.”

Shortly after the injuries, Bennett said he wasn’t sure what his future would hold in regard to moving on and running at Shippensburg.

“I definitely wasn’t quite sure if I’d be able to run in college at one point,” Bennett said.

However, the injuries to his legs were not structural. He required stitches in his thigh and his knee, but did not break any bones in his legs.

“My legs are pretty much healed at this point,” Bennett said.

Bennett said he is viewing going to Shippensburg as a new beginning.

He said he’s been with the team for about a week, and said he is quickly making new friends.

Bennett said he isn’t sure what impact he will make on this team this season given his slow start, but hopes to gain some experience.

“I’m taking it slow because I don’t want to get hurt,” Bennett said. “This year I’m looking to work hard and get the experience of college running.”

Currently Bennett is doing workouts with the team and conducting some weight training in preparation for the team’s first meet on Sept. 1.

In addition to getting to know his team, Bennett is getting acquainted with college life.

“It’s definitely been weird being away from home,” Bennett said. “But I’m starting to get used to it.”

Bennett, who began classes on Monday morning, is majoring in Exercise Science with the hope of one day possibly becoming a physical therapist.

He noted that he wished theElkLakecross country team the best of luck this fall season.