Keeping pace, students make strides

Cecelia Mata

Whether it is for exercise or for other self-motivated reasons, many students are active members of the cross-country team, even if that means having to deal with the difficulty of being at school to run at 7:30 each morning.

Cross-country is a one-event sport in which the girls run 2 miles and the boys run 3.1 miles. Practices frequently push further, going up to 4.5 miles.

Despite the obvious similarities between cross-country and track, the main difference between the two is that the terrain they run on is very different and the workouts that they do consist of differing elements.

“We don’t do much with sprinting, because shorter distances don’t exist in cross-country; so everything we do involves long-distance running,” coach Daniel Williams said. “In track the workout is on the track and flat. Whereas for cross-country we work with running hills. We go out and run around athletic fields and the neighborhoods.”

The sport teaches students many important lessons and gives them a better outlook on life.

“[Cross-country has taught me] to never give up, and that whatever doesn’t hurt or kill you, will make you stronger,” freshman Rhonda Johnson said. “It helps me to get better and have a better attitude.”

Cross-country seems to give a sense of pride and partnership to the runners as they encourage and push each other to win.

The competitions that the runners participate in vary at each meet, though each of them challenge the students in their own ways.

“There’s a big variety of competitions. They can be pretty challenging sometimes, but it’s really fun to challenge yourself and test yourself to see how good you’ve gotten,” sophomore Emma Slowey said.

Students interested in cross-country can talk to coach Daniel Williams. Students who are unable to fit cross-country in their schedules may still be able to participate by meeting in the mornings for practice.