The biggest sports team in the school, with 130 student athletes, still manages to bring home victories on tough courses.
The athletes start training during the summer for the long and hard season. On Aug. 16 the season officially started and the hard workouts began. The team started preparing for the road to counties, but in order to do so the team had to attempt less favored workouts, including running the Frost hill multiple times. “Although running the hard workouts are not the best days, they are what makes the team stronger and more prepared for the meets,” junior Anela Trakic said.
During the first meet of the season, which was on Sept. 11 against Northwood, the girls’ team pulled out a win and the boys’ got second. The race was on the home course, so athletes pushed through the pain of running the frost hill multiple times in the scorching heat. “Running the course on such a hot day was hard, especially since the course is mostly in the sun. However, the team showed a lot of toughness and it was a great start to the season.” junior Catherine Ledoux said.
Coaches Kellie Redmond and Jacob Buxton were impressed with the performance on the first meet and happy with the victory that came with it. “The first race of the season is an important one. It allows me as a coach to see how much the veteran runners have improved from last season and allows me to get a sense of where the new runners are starting out. Many athletes impressed me with their times and their ability to handle the heat and hills,” coach Kellie Redmond said.
The next meet was on Sept. 21 at Bull Run, one of the top three hardest courses in the state. The varsity girls won first place and the JV girls placed third. The varsity boys placed third and the JV boys placed sixth. With over 20 teams competing, the team was excited about the outcome. “Bull Run was definitely a hard course if not the hardest one I have run. Of course it didn’t help that it was burning hot outside while running. The course felt as if there was no easy part and as if you were almost always going uphill. There was one downhill part but it was so steep it was hard to control myself,” sophomore Aiden Caesar said.
After most meets someone will host a team dinner and invite all 130 people to their house to hang out and bond with the team. Every Friday at the end of practice there is “fun Friday,” which is where the team breaks up into groups and competes against each other in various competitions from trivia to physical endurance. “Being a part of a team this big is so special because the team creates a sense of community. I have made new friends on the team and it is so great that everyone is welcome to join. The team is very inclusive and it’s overall a great experience,” senior Jessica Penry said.