Cross country is one of the four fall sports available to participate in. It’s full of running, talking, and, to the coaches’ dismay, plenty of “singing” (maybe “screaming” is the right word) especially to everyone’s favorite: Jacob Sartorius’ song “Sweatshirt” on the bus.
Throughout the season everyone has made huge improvements in their times and running form. The team has three coaches to thank for that: Mr. Ryan Steege, Mr. Stephen Fordham, and Ms. Jody Matey. Whether it’s encouraging the team on their final stretch of a race or giving tips on form during practices, they were always working hard to push the team to its full potential.
Eighth grader Anya Tchelikidi said, “The coaches always push me to work hard to achieve my goals. They push all the runners to try and do the best they can do, even when it’s hard.”
Despite each cross country race being the same distance, the team definitely favors certain races over others. Cross country can be very dependent on the course, as each course is different in layout and obstacles, and these things all affect the kind of race to be had. Each person faces their own obstacles, from the course and route to what kind of day they’re having. Therefore, some meets were found to be more satisfying and successful than others.
Eighth grader Helena Hansensaid, “I really liked our third meet because I found a good pace and pushed through the pain. Also, my friend who couldn’t run that day had cheered me on the whole way.”
One thing the whole cross country team can agree upon is how social it is. Everyone on the team this season has made at least one new friend, and the sport integrates the different grades more than most others. During the long runs and bus rides everyone gets time to talk and have fun with their fellow teammates. Eighth grader Emmaline Rickert said, “If someone is struggling during practice, everyone on the team is there to help them, which has helped form new friendships. Also, in meets whenever we are done racing, we cheered each other on no matter what, creating bonds between teammates.”
The races and meets, although greatly depending on how much work is put into practices, are also a lot about will power. More times than not, the final stretch of a race is all about how much will power each runner has left. This forces the team to create strong bonds, because in order to succeed they all need encouragement from each other. Everyone is aware of that. Whether it be during a taxing workout or in an actual race, the team is always supportive and there to encourage each other and help each other do the best that they can.