Running with the XC Girls in 2017


The girls cross country team runs in one pre-season meet, seven regular-season invitationals including the Conference Meet, and three post-season meets: Districts, Regionals, and State. Last Saturday, October 21, the girls raced and won the Districts meet on the Medina course at Ella Canavan Elementary School.

So far, the girls cross country season is “going pretty good, everybody seems to be improving and giving it their all,” stated sophomore, Sydney Cassel.

In order to improve, a great deal of training has to go on before the regular season even starts.

“Summer practice is crucial as it builds up your endurance and strengthens your fitness. The results that you have at the end of the season are directly related to whatever amount of preparation you did in summer,” stated senior Carly Sternberg. “Something that‘s just as important as running is, is the mental side of the sport. Cross country is just as mental as it is physical. In order to increase your mentality, you can visualize yourself during practice passing people and achieving your goals.”

Practice plays a huge role on how the athletes do throughout their season.

“We practice every Monday through Friday” and the first six Tuesdays of the season we swim in the morning before school,” Sternberg stated. “Practices consist of long runs, workouts, recovery runs, strides, lifting, etc. Our meets are on Saturdays and on Sundays we either have an off-day or a shakeout run.”

Although running can be a very individual sport, cross country, also stylized as XC, is a sport known for having a very tight-knit group of people that enjoy running together.

“The thing I like the most about cross country is the bond I get with my teammates and the experience,” said Cassel.

The benefits of running and being part of such a team extend beyond times and points.

Sternberg stated, “The team energizes me; whenever I am around them, my ‘bad’ days instantly become much better.”

“Your teammates are all super accepting nice people. It doesn’t matter how slow or fast you run everyone is treated the same. It’s hard to see some of your friends if you don’t have classes with them and I know cross country practice will always be a place where I feel most excepted,” said junior Kaleigh Earley.

The girls cross country head coach is Mr. Scott VanFleet and the assistant coach is Mr. Jordan Olson and they have led the girls to great victory this season.

Earley said that “The coaches are really diligent on how they treat people. Someone who runs there PR (personal record) of 18:00 minutes is treated the same as someone who runs a PR of 30:00 minutes. Also, the effort the coaches put into making sure everyone has a great season is remarkable. The time and effort they put in really are shown but are sometimes overlooked by the cross country girls.”

Our coaches always “made sure we were eating right and drinking right” throughout the season, said Cassel.

“I will miss many things about XC, but the things I will miss the most are the coaches and the team. You can run anywhere, but you can’t replace the people,” Sternberg stated.


The next race that the girls have is Regionals this coming Saturday, October 28 in Boardman. And if the team or an individual runner qualify for the State meet, they will race in Hebron on Saturday, November 4.