KUTOVEN "KU" STEVENS
Ku Stevens is a cross country team of one. A rising senior at Yerington High school, Ku petitioned the school to create a cross country team when it was not offered. Between solo practices and holding a full time job, Ku managed to take his Nevada 2021 state champion in the 3200 to a gold medal at the USATF Junior Olympics. Post- graduation, he hopes to run D1 at The University of Oregon
Ku’s father Delmar Stevens instilled the love of running in Ku at a young age by taking him along on runs while Ku rode in a stroller. At four years old, Ku won his first race during The Jingle Bell run when he ran the half mile. By 8th grade , Ku broke the 5:00 minute mile.
Ku is a member of the Yerington Paiute Tribal Nation and grew up with a strong sense of culture through traditions like sweat lodge and azteca dance. However, it wasn’t until Ku read the book “Bury My Heart and Wounded Knee” by Dae Brown where he really understood the fraught relationship between indigenous peoples and the US government.
Frank Quinn was born in 1905 and when he was eight years old, he was forcibly taken from his reservation and brought to the Stewart Indian School. Young Frank escaped from the school and ran 50 miles back to his home on the reservation, only to be recaptured and brought back. He then left two more times before the school finally let him stay on his home lands. Ku's father Delmar remembers his great grandfather as a hard working, gentle man. He never spoke about his experience at the Stewart School, but through relatives Delmar learned about Frank's hardships. As Ku began his journey as a runner, he is reminded that without his great grandfathers escape that he might not be here today.