Cross Country Team Makes Run Toward State

One Sport's Punishment is Another Sport's Passion

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Cross Country Team Makes Run Toward State

Laura Graves, Editor-In-Chief

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Get on the line.

A statement many athletes dread due to the implication of what comes next – running.

Sprints, suicides, and sometimes laps are a way for coaches to show they mean business.

However, there is one team that would perform those exercises with a grin, especially since their typical practice consists of at least a four-mile jog around the “path.”

“Running is definitely not something for everyone,” admits freshman Rachel Puckett. “If you look at the cross country team, you see that we are a different group of people,” she says.

One thing that sets the runners apart is their love for a sport that most teenagers hate.

“I like that you can run and relax while you think about your day,” says Puckett.

The feeling after a run is what makes senior Jeff McKenzie enjoy the sport. “You feel like you actually accomplished something,” he says.

One of the biggest moments of success for a runner is after a meet, especially after setting a personal record or placing higher than usual.

“It’s gratifying to know that after all the work you put into the race you were able to accomplish your goals,” says Puckett.

While meeting individual goals are important, cross country is still a team sport.

“A lot of the success comes from the dynamic and chemistry of the team,”
says McKenzie.

This motivates each member to keep going.

“If you do well then your place can help out the team score,” says Puckett. “When I see everyone working their hardest, I want to do my best to help us win.”

McKenzie says, “I’ve never been on a team that is so close and gets along so well.”

The team is young and includes several junior high runners. However, this does not worry the team because they are used to having an underclassman majority.

Puckett has even been on the team since the 7th grade, meaning she was able to experience the past two trips to state with the team.

Although Puckett describes the state meet as “nerve-racking because all of the runners are so fast and you don’t want to be last,” she looks forward to seeing how far her team can make it this season.

McKenzie adds on to her thoughts by saying no matter what happens during the meets, cross country has been “the most rewarding sport” he’s ever done.