The Varsity Cross Country rosters are officially set! The cross country team is already knee deep into their training with grueling interval workouts in preparation for IASAS in Manila. Last year, both the boys’ and girls’ teams finished with gleaming silver medals. However, this year, the Panthers are hungry for the gold!
The boys’ team only lost two IASAS runners from last year, and with new students and freshmen, the team seems stronger as a whole. In addition, the boys did continuous training throughout the summer which meant they came back super fit and with hundreds of kilometers under their belt. Their ultimate goal is, of course, to win IASAS, however their individual goals range from pushing each other to run personal bests (PBs) while making new friends and having fun!
Co-captains Zach McVey (12) and Robbie Melhorn (12) both admitted their target is the gold medal. While Zach claims that “the team’s strategy for keeping the group cohesive is to have regular sleepovers,” Robbie admits they “stay close through the gossip on their long runs.”
Many wonder why people run or how people are able to view running as something other than a chore. When asked, Varsity Boys’ Coach David Bentley revealed how “running is like banging your head against a brick wall, it feels really good when you stop! If you don’t run often your body is not accustomed to it, so the pain or/and discomfort will outweigh the ‘runner’s high’ or great feeling that you get after you exercise aerobically for extended periods of time, therefore it does feel like a chore, or worse.”
This year the girl’s team is young, diverse, and untested for the most part, as Varsity Girls’ Coach David Giles would put it. They only have three returning IASAS runners, however there is an abundance of new girls with a prospective future. The returning runners are fitter and faster thanks to their training over the summer. Coach Giles says he wants “…unity on the team, healthy runners and most of all [he] want[s] tough mindsets in races. If [they] achieve these three things, [they] will go far.”
Captain, Becky Bradley (11) is super excited for the season and getting to know the girls. Becky is enthusiastic and looking forward to September where they have a retreat to Kanchanaburi, a home exchange, and two other races before IASAS.
When asked how Coach Giles viewed running he responded: “Anyone who has not raced at the level at which we run has no idea how tough it is. But it is also the purest and most individual test that a high school athlete can face. At the same time, running gets in your system and the mind/body balance that running provides is something that I and most of our team craves. That’s why you see so many XC runners training after the season!”
With the cross country runners involved in an action-packed season, we wish you good luck and hope you obtain those PBs, and of course the gold!
by Becky Bradley (11)