Cross Country Running Provides Competition and Fun

Can you imagine running after school every day? Well, some people even do it for fun.

“There are about 74 people participating this year,” said Junior Erica Heil.

There is practice 5 days a week after school from 2:20pm to 4pm. They mostly train  on the Dimond track or students run around the neighborhood.

The coaches are chemistry teacher Jeff Keller, math teacher Nate Normandin and physical education teacher Cary Miknich.

According to Sophomore Alison Shafer, “About two days a week we either go to Kincaid or have a hard workout at Dimond on the track such as intervals.”

“The best things about cross country running are the people and spaghetti feeds that we have before almost every race.”

Heil agreed with Schafer and said, “The spaghetti feed is one of my favorite parts of the season. Although, we only have them when races are on the weekends.

“Another part of the season that was special is the varsity girls got new uniforms.”

On another hand, Sophomore Grant Anderson said, “It can get tiring and time is shortened quite a bit for homework.”

The  season starts just before school begins along with the other fall sports. There is a training packet that is recommended, but not required.

There are Varsity, JV and open divisions for all the races. Your time in a 5k determines which group you run with.

The seven fastest girls/boys are on Varsity and the next seven fastest are on JV. Then everyone else runs in the open division.

According to Schafer, there are about ten races a season. This isn’t including State or Regions, which are coming up in a week.

All races are either 3k or 5k.

Everyone participates in Regions, but for State you have to qualify.

It’s possible to either qualify for state with your team or as an individual.

The top 15 out of your gender makes it for individuals. Also, if your team is third out of Regions, then the team goes to state.

These two races conclude the season. Neither girls or boys varsity qualified this year for state.

Heil said the most challenging race for her this year was the race at Bartlett.

Regions and State were both held at Bartlett this year.

Anderson’s favorite race of the season was the Skinny Raven Park Strip Race.

“It was fun because there were obstacles to run over and through.”

Schafer’s favorite race was the one on Kodiak Island. This was the first year the Dimond team has done this.

The Varsity girls and boys went down and spent a weekend  there.

“This was by far my favorite because we did lots of fun activities as a team together.”

Some individuals are shining this year, but it’s a building year for the team.

“The girls team is very young this year, but they’ve all been working hard and their times have improved greatly throughout the year,” said assistant coach Keller.

According to Heil, there are a lot more senior boys than girls this year.