Faster, better, Stronger: Cross country looks to improve

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Faster, better, Stronger: Cross country looks to improve

Adam Frommer, Staff Writer

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The Boys and Girls Varsity Cross Country teams are hitting their stride this season. Each runner is stepping up their game, and the result is a team atmosphere unlike any in recent years, Jayer Yang (12) said.

People are more committed than previous years, Brian Wu (12) said. “It’s clear that many of the returning members have spent the summer training hard.” Many underclassmen on the team have been stepping up to alter the dynamic of the team to build camaraderie, and are always willing to help out each other out. “Nobody gets left behind.”

Leaders on the team set that aside on their own pride to motivate others and push themselves, Yang said. “Sometimes, they won’t go their hardest during practice, and they’ll stay behind to push the other people.”

New this year is Coach Caroline Shannon, who has taken driven runners under her wing and allowed for a higher level of practice for those who are seeking intensity, Co-Captain Claire Griffin (12) said.

Everyone enjoys each other’s company and all the grades work really well together, Catherine Mignone (10) said.

The girls team only has 13 members, so everyone is relatively close to each other, CoCaptain Caroline Scherr (12) said.

“The team is the best team at Horace Mann,” Griffin said. “There is never a practice where we are not laughing together as a collective team.” For Mignone, the sport lends itself to a team dynamic because each team member wants to beat their own personal goal rather than others’ times. “There’s not really a competitive atmosphere because we all just want to support each other,” she said.

While athletes run on the team for many reasons, Yang runs because the sport pushes him to try harder than he would otherwise, he said.

Most important for Yang is the friends he has made on the team. “After we finish a hard race, we get to relax, eat carrot cake, and bond even more.”

The teams attended their first race on Saturday and their second race on Wednesday. Notably, Ethan Waggoner (10) placed second in the Boys 2.5 mile Sophomore race, with a time of 14:34.9s.

No matter the result, everyone left the race knowing that they could improve, Yang said. Mignone agreed that there is much to work on, but attributes the Girls’ team’s success to their preseason. “We have been really dedicated and I think that’s why we’ve been crushing it,” she said.

Looking ahead, Yang, Scherr, Wu, and Griffin are excited for the championship races at the end of the season, the seniors’ last times to run in high school.