Cross country runners warm up

Sam Barney-Gibbs - Ombudsman

Team has high hopes for a successful season

Cross country runs headfirst into the season

August 29, 2018

Since making state competition for the past three years, the girls’ cross country team’s current goal is to compete for state title. The boys’ team has made California Interscholastic Federation for the past two years and their hope is to get to state as well.

Cross country competitions consist of races of 5 kilometers. Students run in different locations and races, including through Oak Canyon, ending the season with CIF finals and possibly state.

According to senior and varsity runner Sarah Shulze, there is a lot of pressure on the girls’ team, but, regardless, the coaches are confident in them.

“This season I have pretty high hopes for the girls’ team. We had an excellent season last year, but I think with the new talent we have on the team this year we will have an even better season,” Shulze wrote to the Talon.

The coaches help the team improve and stay focused, but also enjoy the sport, according to junior and varsity runner Preston Green.

“Stay with it when it hurts the first few weeks. The results are more than worth the initial pain,” cross country coach Steve White wrote to the Talon.

Part of team improvement includes reminding the runners of the importance of following a proper nutrition, staying hydrated, resting and ultimately trusting other teammates.

“[The coaches’ hopes] for everyone are to have a successful season and, most importantly, to enjoy the full aspects of running,” Green wrote to the Talon.

In order to prepare this year, the team has been increasing their mileage as well as cross training — doing another sport such as biking on a day off — on Monday mornings at Medea Creek Middle School to increase aerobic development.

“We have also been adding speed work and tempo to prepare us for holding fast paces in our races,” Shulze wrote.

The runners practice six days a week doing speed work or sometimes 8 mile runs.

“We have to work together as a team and push each other daily. If one person pushes everyone else, all the people around them push themselves past what they thought they could do,” sophomore member Sydney Reese wrote.

The team recently had their annual Pancake Mock Meet. ‘Pancake’ is a 1.8 mile course at the high school the team runs as a time trial. They are currently working on strategy, their approach to races, and different types of physical preparation. According to junior and varsity runner Sebastian Sawyer, good teamwork and support of one another is key to a successful team.

“Cross country relies on the top five runners being close together, so pushing one another to try and all get faster and to build each other up as a team not individuals,” Sawyer wrote to the Talon. “No matter why people join, the only thing coaches truly expect is for the athletes to be supportive teammates and to put forth a good effort throughout the season.”

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