Summer conditioning paid off for the cross country runners after the boys placing 9th in Carlisle Invitational and girls placed 12th. The results led to the boys being ranked #21 and the girls being ranked #57 in the State.
The boys team has been making jumps throughout the races and making new personal records, making the varsity team strong enough to reach their goal of winning States.
“There has been a 100% improvement compared to last year. Our athletes are developing and are more committed to the sport compared to last year,” Coach Matt Henry said.
Coach Henry also believes the freshmen this year are making a big impact on the varsity team.
“Freshmen are looking good this year, and they’re the motivation to pushing the varsity team to train harder,” he added.
Along with having the new freshman, the team received a new teammate named Nick Mitran over the summer. The senior is placed #2 on the cross country team.
Mitran experienced many beneficial changes compared to his old school on the cross country team.
“There are more strategies involved in the sport, and along with that, the team is big because there are no cuts,” Mitran said. “Our team is very competitive and has high standards for every race.”
Cross Country is a mentally tough sport while training and racing, it can be hard to have a focused mind-set while feeling nothing but pain.
“You have to have joy in the sport in order to achieve in it, and I can’t afford to slow down, my team can’t afford to lose,” Mitran said.
Many of the returning runners have also made big improvements compared to last season.
“I have more commitment to the team than I did in the past,” sophomore Lucas Lee said. “Being a sophomore makes me more motivated to step up my performance, and the freshmen are pushing me to train harder.”
Lee is currently one of the top five runners on the varsity team and was able to reach his goal after hours of training during the summer.
“The summertime allowed me to condition mentally with running in the harsh weather. It’s been fun meeting new people on the team and having motivation to train everyday,” Lee said.
The cross country team has one more invitational meet before post season and is stepping it up every race as the season progresses.