Cross country team has successful season despite Covid

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Photo courtesy Shana Gittleson

The cross country team takes the course against Einstein on Apr. 13.

With an unprecedented season for fall sports because of Covid-19 precautions, the Patriots cross country team did not lose sight of success at practices, time trials and meets.

The Patriots hit the track for the 5,000 meter new division race on Mar. 24 for their first meet against Rockville. The boys’ team won, led by freshman Nathaniel Riker, with a time of 19:52.34. Following Riker, senior Edward Keenan completed the race with a time of 20:37.78 and sophomore Tyler Sauvajot finished in third place with a time of 20:40.00.

As for the girls’ team, 12 Patriots followed the lead of senior Angela Parra, who came in second place with 21:49.97, and sophomore Maya Gottesman followed Parra in third place with a time of 22:45.72.

On Apr. 13, the team faced off with the Einstein Titans as their second meet. While the girls’ team took charge of another win, led by Gottesman with a time of 20:12.18, the Patriot boys fell for a loss against the Titans boys’ team. Freshman Nathaniel Riker came in a close second place with a time of 18:12.78 and senior Edward Keenan finished off in fifth place with a time of 18:48.75.

In the weeks beforehand, the team took part in time trials and practices. Girls’ team captain Parra said the two first races went well. “I’m glad we had a few weeks of practice because it helped prepare us and it was fun to race again,” Parra said.

On the field, the team tallied up major wins this season despite the pandemic. Off the field, however, the team let go of their elemental bonding to follow safety protocols.

Junior Hannah Eisenfeld said that this season the team has not had any off-campus experiences that would happen during a regular season. For example, spaghetti dinners would usually be held every one or two weeks at a team captain’s house, but this season did not occur at all. During team practices, “masks are mandated and the team is split up into pods to comply with the limited number of people in groups, which is a first for all Wootton cross country teams,” Eisenfeld said.

Our team is patient, motivated and most of all thankful that we could even have a season during Covid-19.”

— Suhani Singh

Despite these circumstances and the fact that the team is significantly smaller than it would be during a regular season, junior Suhani Singh said the season couldn’t have gone any better. Singh said she feels a new sense of commitment and people have been more excited to run together as a team because of the year-long wait. “Our team is patient, motivated and most of all thankful that we could even have a season during Covid-19,” Singh said.