Cross country races for ‘cakes’
September 29, 2017
The cross country team held their annual Pancake meet Saturday, Sept. 2, 2017.
At this meet, the team splits into smaller teams led by the team captains and race against each other. Each year, the meet has a different theme; this year’s was holidays.
“It’s really a good way to start off the season and just get everyone in a mindset of like, ‘It’s time to race, it’s time to go,’ because racing is different than just running,” senior and Cinco de Mayo team captain Emily Stephens said. “Coach tells us that all the time that racing is not running and running is not racing, so it’s good to see — for the newbies — what it’s like to race and be in that atmosphere.”
The Pancake race is a 1.8 mile run designed to help newcomers learn how to properly run a race.
“Last year, I had an asthma attack, so it didn’t end up working out for me. I got like 52nd out of the 60 kids that ended up running and then the year after, I took my inhaler and I learned from what I did last year and I got fourth this year,” sophomore and St. Patrick’s Day team member Preston Green said.
To choose captains, the athletes vote on juniors or seniors, and the coaches then take the vote into account when discussing captain choices.
“Everybody got a piece of paper and they just wrote down three [upperclassmen] that they thought would make good captains and then the coaches [looked] through the ballots and make the final decisions,” junior and St. Patrick’s Day team member Lizzie Verdin said.
Captains of this event have duties that are not typical for an average cross country meet. Since this event is held as a kickoff for the year, the goal of the captains is to get their teams excited for the race and the season ahead.
“I spent a long time making [and designing] the shirts. I made like headbands, shirts and a flag for our team just to get everybody hyped about it,” senior and Valentine’s Day captain Colin Takeda said.
Several years ago, the cross country Pancake meet was connected with an annual football scrimmage.
“It was a combination of the football scrimmage, pancake breakfast and race,” co-athletic director Dick Billingsley said. “So, we would always have our scrimmage against another team and then the cross country people would set up, have their teams matched up and then they’d run either before or after depending on what time we had our scrimmage.”
However, as the years went by, the meet was left strictly to cross country due to the fact that football teams need to travel.
“Well, with different head coaches, they did different things. And, the idea that we always held the pancake breakfast scrimmage, so we always scrimmaged here, a lot of schools figured we should do home and home so we have to travel,” Billingsley said. “Because we started traveling, it eliminated the football program involvement.”
Home and home is a phrase used to explain teams trading off who plays on their home field.
The Pancake meet is known for selling pancakes.
“It’s breakfast and pancakes are the main course,” head cross country coach Steven White said. “I mean, it sounds better than ‘sausage run’ I suppose.”