Cross Country Kicks Off Their Season

Sarah Honeycutt, Staff Writer

   On Thursday, September 26th, West High’s Cross Country team performed their first league meet at Peninsula. According to Samantha Layman (10), “The Penn course is probably the one course that everybody hates because there is a hill called Agony Hill.” The wood chips, dirt, and steep pathways are very difficult conditions for the runners to race in.

   For each varsity team, only 7 runners can race from each school. Because there are only 5 schools in the Bay League and 7 people can race per school, a total of 35 people can race in one event. Teams are scored based on their times from the first five finishers. The times of these finishers get added up for a score. The team with the lowest score wins. Layman says that cross country is, “not an individual sport, it’s a team sport. The goal is get your top five runners as close in place to each other as you can.”

   There are many pressures that come with being on the Cross Country team. Adel Kelifa (11) admitted, “I would get extremely nervous before races during my freshman and sophomore seasons. It used to be the worst part about racing, but I think I’m used to racing now because the nerves have mostly gone away.” Cross country is a team sport, so if one person does not have a good race then it can affect the whole team. “The nerves usually go away once the gun goes off because then I know I won’t be able to quit,” said Emily Atkinson (10).

    After achieving their first victory of the season, the cross country athletes have high hopes for the season. Atkinson stated, “I just hope that we will [go] far. We all have goals this season and I want, as a team to achieve them together.” Everyone has different individual and team goals for the season. Kelifa said, ”My hopes for the season are to stay healthy because I am dealing with injuries all the time.” Kelifa also stated that he wants “to make it to CIF this year.”

  With high hopes for the future and their goals not far from their reach, the Cross Country runners continue to prepare for their next rivals.