Cross country has long been heralded as a sport only for those willing to quite literally “go the distance.” To be on the team, you must endure Mountain Mondays, Speed Days, and Frisbee Pre-Meets. Well, frisbee isn’t too bad, but the others are definitely grueling. The meets themselves are usually hot, nerve racking, and crowded with spectators. In these conditions they have to run over three miles as fast as they can. Despite this, the cross country team seems to be a happy group, who all love their sport.
I interviewed the captains of the Cross Country team to get their take on their sport and season. Dason Day, the boys’ team captain, told me his favorite part of cross country is running at the meets. Cross country meets have a fun air to them, and you can often see team members and spectators alike enjoying their time. Cambree Olsen, the girls’ team captain, says her favorite thing is the absence of drama. She says, “We all support each other and accept each other for who we are. My absolute favorite thing has been sharing “tea” between all the girls.” She laughingly clarifies, “Not dramatic or rude tea.”
Although the team is not ranked, they have a good shot at placing at region, which is October 13, and later state. Cambree is excited, but nervous. “There’s a small chance I could qualify for state as an individual and it would be super awesome if I did!” She also adds, “I think the boys will do great at region. Dason has a good chance of winning again.” Dason said he has a chance at placing first at both region and state, and he is working hard to achieve that goal. Despite the high stakes, Dason says he is not nervous for region, and feels confident he will run well.
There are a variety of different ways to prepare for a meet. Dason plays ultimate frisbee, while Cambree drinks lots of water the day before, makes sure she eats right, and gets a small run in the day before. To pump herself up, she listens to music right before a meet. Cambree and Dason both said they have grown since they were a freshman, approaching races with more strategies and confidence.
Coached by Cheston Slater, the team is lead wonderfully. He has helped the team grow and is a huge part of the success of every runner. Dason said he loves how coach Slater cares about the team and its individuals. Cambree is grateful he is not afraid to push them and is not against having fun!
After interviewing the captains, I can see the appeal of cross country much more. I asked them why others should join cross country, and they both said it was a great way to stay in shape and train for other sports during the school year. It’s also a blast, they love cheering on their teammates. As an individual sport, your results are completely in your own hands, so it is very satisfying to see how far you can push yourself. Good luck to the Cross Country team as they finish their season strong!