img_9943Story by Warner Otto and Trey Martin, photo by Robert Sawyer

As the Cross Country season begins, training and preparation becomes a priority for upcoming meets. The Cross Country team’s motivation and determination increase as they prepare.

“We have been training hard every day. Training over the summer included workouts every day to get us stronger for the season,”  senior Kenneth Vowles said.

Not only does the team run during the season, but they also run in the off season in order to stay on track.

“In the offseason I run longer distances than we do in the season in order to maintain my endurance level,” junior Mackensie Barbee said.

Cross Country coach Barry Lindler also works very hard to motivate the team in order to prepare them for meets.

“We encourage our athletes by reminding our athletes that success is a total package.  Hard work pays off in so many ways – the classroom, the family, the team, and the individual,   We cannot be afraid to fail – as long as we have the courage to try, success will come,” Lindler said. “That success may not always be in the form that we expect, but hard work and dedication and the keys to accomplishing your goals.”

As the Cross Country team prepares for future meets, they have set goals for the upcoming season.

“My ultimate goal this season is to be a positive role model. Our team is made up of mostly younger girls and I want to show them that no matter what your performance is it’s important to keep a good attitude,” Mackensie said.

When preparing for upcoming meets it can be difficult to balance school and practice.

“I have to eat a healthy diet, finish my homework, and get plenty of sleep each night so I can perform during every practice,” junior Revon Landreneau said. “I have to plan ahead for late nights on Wednesday race days during the week by working ahead on schoolwork as well.”

Since the sport is based on endurance, runners should be prepared to run long distances every day at practice.

“A typical day at Cross Country practice consists of dynamics, core work, and of course, running – anywhere from 4-8 miles.  A cross country runner has to be able to run non-stop for 60 minutes before we can hope to make real progress,” Lindler said.

As years go on the teams change and shape in different ways such as goals and what they want to gain from Cross Country. The coaches and players get to experience different aspects of Cross Country along with a team.

“Our teams each year are always different.  Cross country is such an individual sport, but relies heavily on the team, in other words, the mindset has to be right.  We have to want to work with each other and encourage each other, even if that means a teammate may get better than you,”  Lindler said. “This years teams have tremendous potential, we just need to keep tapping into that potential.”

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