Breaking in the new season

Ilene Holder, Staff eporter

Sweat beading, blood rushing, heart pounding, lungs burning, muscles tensing and relaxing, adrenaline surging. This is what the cross country runners go through every day, either during practice or meets. The amount of time spent conditioning is what might make cross country more challenging than most people think.


During the summer leading up to the new school year, sophomore Zack Painter and other members of the boys cross country team dove into the adventures of cross country.


“Each day in the morning we did five mile runs,” said Sophomore Varsity member Zack Painter.


Some of the activities the runners must do are 800 repeats, long runs, sprints and tempo runs. A different activity is done every day in order to gain strength. Each practice typically goes for 2 hours, along with any at-home training the athletes may do.


Doing at-home training is the only option some of the athletes have. Senior Zack McKinley tries to juggle other responsibilities while training for cross country. It can get hard trying to focus on just one particular activity per night.


“The most difficult thing for me is balancing football and cross country. I have football practice every day, but it’s hard to get a run in. So I have to run in the morning every day before school,” said Varsity cross country and Varsity football member Zach McKinley.


Even though there are difficulties at times, there are still enjoyable qualities about cross country, such as setting new personal records, making it to sectionals, districts, or state.


“I am looking forward to getting a personal record of under 18 minutes,” said Painter. “Maybe pass sectionals too.”


Along with setting goals and making it further than sectionals, just the feel of the team can be uplifting.


“I enjoy the atmosphere because it’s a lot different than football,” said McKinley. “In cross country you’re more of an individual while in football you’re more of a team.”


Individualism while being on a team comes across greatly in competition, whether it be between friends on the team or between those who are just good athletes, the competition is prevalent. Senior member Austin Holth knows full well the feeling of competition.


“My biggest competitors are probably the seniors this year,” said Senior and Varsity player Austin Hoth.


While some people just have a broad competition, some have specific people they think will give them a run for their money.


“Jack Drnec ‘cause he’s been working really hard and been getting better and faster over the years. Zack Painter too because he’s a sophomore and has really shown up,” said McKinley.


With every team comes one athlete everyone looks up to and and sees as their competition. The boys cross country team has already figured out who that athlete is; Senior and Varsity runner Jake Drnec.

“I guess Jake Drnec would be my biggest competition,” said Painter. “He’s probably the best on the team.”