Racing Through the Season
Photo by Abbey Euritt – Co-Assistant Editor/Sports Editor
This cross country season is full of newfound potential and goals, as both the girls and boys team have new coaches and runners. The addition of new runners has added to the program and their immense success. Grace Cronk, freshman, has shown impressive race times and outcomes so far this season.
“My PR is 20:34 and I have medaled three times so far,” Cronk said.
Cronk ran cross country in middle school and has continued her running career in high school, with new goals and expectations for the rest of the season.
“My goals and expectations are my times and to see how fast I can be. I am hoping to be under 20 minutes,” Cronk said.
Now that the cross country team has competed in multiple meets this season, Cronk has her opinion about her favorite meet so far.
“My favorite [race] has probably been Kris Solsberg which was at LSN and we had to stay to cheer on people which I like doing,” Cronk said.
Though cross country is run individually, the team’s support is a big part of success throughout the sport. LSN cross country values the team aspect, and provides encouragement to all the runners.
“The team is super nice and everyone is supportive which has helped me a lot,” Cronk said.
Not only did the cross country team gain new potential through the freshman runners, they were also given a new coaching staff, including Adrienne Ray, head coach. Ray has had great success coaching the team so far.
“The season has been really good. The girls won the Deny City Championship in August and despite a few injuries have had really great finishes this season. We have a really strong freshman class this year as well as some great upperclassmen returning,” Ray said.
With some of the changes this season, the coaching staff has mastered a weekly practice schedule to continue the advancement of the team.
“Every week we have a day of hill training, a day for recovery runs, a day for distance runs, a day for speed and tempo work and we also do a day of swimming to get the athletes off their feet but still getting a good cardio workout,” Ray said.
The practice schedule this season is heavily focused on creating a balance of the distance, hills, and speed. With the new schedule, everyone is hoping for accomplishments as the season progresses until the end.
“I think the goal for this season, which is honestly for every season, is to qualify as many runners for the state meet,” Ray said.
This season, the team is taking priority in team bonding. They have many weekly activities and exciting additions to practice to better the atmosphere and bond the team together.
“For team bonding we have some of our pre-race Friday meals together at LSN. We have done game days on Fridays where we play volleyball or frisbee football instead of running. We have had some theme days and of course popsicle Fridays,” Ray said.
As the season continues, the cross country team is adjusting to the changes and setting goals to continue bettering the program.
Photo courtesy of Mike McGurk