Dimond Runs to the End of the Cross-country Season

Dimond High School cross-country running started Aug. 3 this year. Math teacher Nate Normandin returned as head coach along with Jeff Keller, chemistry teacher, and Pam Tittle, nurse. The team this year is a large one, around 70 athletes. The team is also a young one with 18 freshmen and 11 sophomores on Varsity as opposed to 13 juniors and 12 seniors. After losing former Dimond High Student Ryan Hanley, Dimond no longer has one person as the top athlete. Dimond has quite a few boys competing against each other for the top position: Kerrick Eagle, freshman; Matthew Froehlich, freshman; Ethan Crow, freshman; Jake Alward, junior; Ben Richardson, senior; Luke Adams, sophomore; John Carr, sophomore; Cameron Ginochio, junior; and David Owen, senior. For the girls Dimond has Amelia Hennessey, freshman; Rebecca Hoshow, freshman; Johanna Jeffryes, freshman; and Madison Imig, freshman. Having several top athletes isn’t a bad thing. In fact, the way cross-country running works, it’s actually a good thing. Scoring in cross-country running works like this: The top five athletes count for scoring. First place earns a one, second place a two, etc. The goal is to have the lowest overall score. So, having several top place finishers as opposed to just a few is better. That’s not to say that Dimond doesn’t have any stars on their team. Hennessey is ranked Fourth in the state and First in the region. She also ranked Eigth place when she competed at state. Normandin stated, “We have Amelia Hennessey who’s kicking butt.” Regions were Sept. 26; the top four teams went to state. Dimond didn’t make it to state as a team this year. This is only Normandin’s third year of coaching for Dimond. Normandin is a former athlete for the school himself. Normandin’s coaching style tries to balance what’s fun and what works well with the athletes. He throws in fun trips like going swimming or running to Tastee Freez, which has been a tradition. One workout that starts off hard, but ends up fun, is running in the sand at Kincaid Park. Running in sand is tough since it gives way each step you take, but usually towards the end of practice everyone ends up getting some time to play in the sand, according to Normandin. In response to the now and then, Normandin said, “It’s similar to when I was in high school.” He works hard to keep spirits high, including having an athlete of the week whose reward is a water bottle. In addition to athlete of the week, the Lynx Invite was held this year. Twenty-three schools took part Labor Day weekend. The winning athlete took home a handmade trophy that was made by volunteers. Elika Roohi is in her senior year and has been running for all four years of high school. When asked what she’s doing differently her senior year she said, “It’s your last year so you push yourself a little harder.” In response to being asked about how she feels Dimond is doing this year, Roohi stated, “I think we’re pretty good, I mean we’re huge.” Robin Stramp, senior and team captain, had a rough start to the season. “[I] Started with food poisoning, two skinned knees, a cold, and a sinus infection.” When asked how things are different for her since last year Stramp stated that, “I like the fact that people kinda listen to me now.” Stramp also stated, “[Cross-country running] taught me to set goals and work towards them.”