ReRouted: Cross Country dealing with loss of home course


Every runner’s dream is to PR (personal record) on his or her home course in front of all the fans. Yet Leyden runners don’t get this satisfaction.Grant Park in Northlake, home of the Eagles, is all torn up because of construction.

Junior,Julian Munoz, one of the top runners for the team, stated, “I feel pretty upset because that means that we don’t have the opportunity to perform for our fans on our home course.”

In cross country, knowing the course is helpful as each course has different layouts and features that make some easier while others are harder. The hardest courses, given from Julian are “KLM, the course for Hinsdale, Downers Grove South, and Fenton, due to it’s steady incline.”

Not having a home course is an uphill of its own. Junior runner Patrick Sarad explained, “It’s difficult not having a home course because we don’t have the chance to practice there, and we have to practice other places that don’t prepare us well for the other courses. Every race we go to is new to us.”

Assistant coach Mr. Tim Stark understands the loss of a home course but also found an upside: “At the beginning it was hard,” he said, “but it turned out for the better because now that practice is at East, we are able to get off the pavement and we go to Schiller Park Woods and practice. [We] range from 8-11 miles for our varsity 2-3 times a week.” And a home course isn’t too far away: “Willowbrook is allowing us to host our meet and conference at their home course this year.”

Regardless of the changes, the boys have high goals this year. Lead runner Sarad stated, “The whole varsity boys team last year [was only]places away [from the state meet]at Sectionals, so I know that this year we have a high chance of making it.”

The boys cross country team took first place in the ICCP race on September 9, placing five runners in the top seven.The boys started strong with some runners finishing the first mile at 5:17 and then also the third mile in a 5 minute margin. The five runners went out strong and stayed in the top throughout the whole race. Last year the boys placed third at this invite, so this was a good bounce back. Stark stated, ”We had a strong pack’, we placed 2,3,4,7,8. The spread was great, from 1-5 the spread was 23 seconds.”

Looks like the different places are training the boys more than they think. Instead everyone being down of the absence of the home course, the team has turned it into something positive. Different places, different courses , different times, same great team.