Photo courtesy Warrior Cross Country
RUN FAST—Senior Bonheur Mvuyekure (215) runs with a Warrior pack including seniors Shodo Mahamed (213) and Yonas Sadi (216) and sophomore Merci Bita at the State AA Meet Oct. 21 in Rapid City. 

Senior helps boys cross country team to first state title in 30 years
Bonheur Mvuyekure runs life-route from Congo to WHS

By Sidney Kennedy and Madelyn Moravec 

Senior Bonheur Mvuyekure has run a long way in his young life, running from his birth country of the Congo in Africa all the way to WHS.

One of his most recent runs was only five kilometers around a Black Hills campground resort, but it had significance to WHS as he helped bring the school their first cross country state title since 1987 Oct. 21. 

Mvuyekure finished in third place overall with a time of 16:22.46 and helped lead the Warriors to the title.

Mvuyekure, and his family including three sisters and two older brothers, moved to South Dakota from the Congo in 2007. 

“I came to the U.S. because it was more safe than Congo,” Mvuyekure said. “It provided me and my family with better opportunities.” 

Mvuyekure attended All City Elementary for first and second grade, then Annie Sullivan Elementary before moving on to Whittier Middle School where he realized he had a love for sports and started playing football as a Whittier Wolverine. He continued to pursue his passion for sports at WHS, getting involved track his freshman year and cross country as a sophomore. 

“I love cross country because of the people and the work ethic,” Mvuyekure said. “I became a better runner by training a lot and putting in a lot of hard work in the summer and during the school year, while trusting my coaches along the way.”

Mvuyekure also took first at the Metro Conference Meet this season and was named All-State. But Mvuyekure doesn’t only excel in sports, but in the classroom as well. He has balanced athletics with five AP classes at WHS and is a girls basketball manager and involved in SALSA. He also volunteers at Avera in the ER. 

Schools including Northwestern College, Augustana University, Dakota State University and the University of South Dakota have offered scholarships. 

“I am very excited for what the future holds and to run for the school I end up choosing,” Mvuyekure said.


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