Girls Cross Meet
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After a first place win last year, the Girls Varsity Cross Country Team started their season rocky with a 4th place finish, while the Frosh/Soph girls finished in second place. V
Varsity’s rocky start is not linked to the runners being unprepared, but to the fact that many of the runners running the Varsity race don’t normally run with Varsity. The first meet is split up into 2 races: Varsity and Fresh/Soph. The junior and senior girls run the Varsity race, and the freshman and sophomores run the Fresh/Soph race. Many of the top runners were in the Fresh/Soph race, unlike last year. Last year, 5 of the top 7 varsity runners were seniors.
Many of the new runners had no idea what the meet would be like, while others already knew what to expect. They all knew beforehand that the distance they would run would be two miles, which equals two laps around the Elmwood Park course. Even though the team prepared the week before the meet during practice, the first meet is always nerve-wrecking and exciting. Senior Lilly Solis explained that before a meet, it’s always important to get into the “right mindset in order to run successful and in the right pace.”
While 2 miles may seem like a lot, this is not the distance the cross country teams run; all the races after this one are 3 miles. Varsity runner Jasmine Salvador-Diaz explains that it’s important to prepare yourself mentally before a race. She does this by “[picturing] the course before the meet” and imagining that her and “her team are in the lead and no one can pass them up.” She also says that “listening to music” helps her get mentally ready.
Overall, Coach Emily Schader was “very pleased with everyone’s races” and she’s very “hopeful about the youth of [the] program.” Cross country is a “sport that you can’t teach in a week.” As Schader stated, “the beauty of it is, there are no plays to memorize, there is no plan that has to be executed. The gun goes off and you pour everything into your race and it all sorts itself out in the end.”