Cross country sets the bar

The cross country team began their season strong but with room to improve

Gea Henry
Members of the cross country team come down a straight portion of the course at McNair Park. The boys and girls teams have gotten off to strong starts in their first meets of the season.

The Spartan cross country team began its season on Aug. 24 with a two mile run at Quail Ridge and a 5k at McNair Park on the 26th. Both races were hot and brought their own challenges. For senior and number one male runner Collin King, these races signify the beginning of the end.
“The season does feel different because when I run a race, I know it will be the last time I will run there,” King said.
Personally, King sees this season as one that could bring good results for the team and for himself.
“At our latest meet, I was two places off of a medal, and if I recall correctly team wise, we placed 5 out of 7. Individually I would like to run under an 18 minutes for three miles and go to sectionals. Team wise I think placing top 5 at districts would be sweet,” said King.
According to King, for cross country, the biggest competition is on the team and not as much against other schools.
“I would say my biggest competitor is Garrett Allen. He is a hard worker and was faster than me at the beginning of the season, so if I don’t watch it he may pass me. There really isn’t any competition between the teams. I mean, there’s always the sister schools,” King said.
For junior Amanda Henderson she also feels the pressure to compete for her spot on varsity.
“I am considered top seven varsity with injuries and absences; however, I have to continue to fight for my spot in order to stay on varsity,” Henderson said.
This season has brought its triumphs and struggles already. For Henderson, the two mile brought its own personal struggle and on the team, there have been a few injuries and conflicts. With the challenges has also come successes. The team has had many personal records and position changes.
“For my two mile, I feel like I didn’t do as well as I could have; however, our team as a whole had many PRs and position changes, which I am proud of,” said Henderson. “For the 5k at McNair, I was able to maintain position as well as pass multiple competitors at crucial points in the race. As a team, we’ve had a few absences from varsity due to injuries or conflicts so our overall team can probably do better.”
The cross country team will race again today Sept. 2 at the Fort Zumwalt North cross country invitational.