XC Team Maintains a Successful Season


Gunner Bryson, Staff Writer

So far this year, the Cross Country season has been a good one, and it definitely shows when talking to anyone associated with the team. Though this season has been pretty wobbly at times with the school going into completely digital and hybrid schedules, the team has still powered through and competes well in meets. 

As of yesterday, the team has raced at six meets this season. The two most recent meets were at the elite Southern Showcase in Huntsville, AL, on September 18th and, yesterday, the NGXCL Meet #3 at Edward Park in Dalton. At the Southern Showcase, which included teams that had traveled from Ohio, Florida, and Louisiana, the Boys team finished in 7th place out of 48 teams. Most significantly, senior Gavin Chandler earned the 1st place medal in the Crimson Division out of 405 runners, with a new personal record (PR) of 17:48. Senior Davis Justice also earned a Top 10 finish in 9th place with a PR of 17:48. Freshman Zoe St. John earned a 3rd place medal in the Crimson Division and a season best time of 21:36. In Dalton, Senior Gavin Chandler again led the team, this time with a 2nd overall finish, and freshman Zoie St. John led the Girls team with a sixth place overall finish. 

The team has been doing great with a lot of the runners getting personal recorders. So far this season, runners Will Riddell, Grayson Stallings, Ryan Walker, Jacob Palmer, Collin Black, Maddox Henry, Hyrum Smart, Lila Langston, Alexis Fault, Anna Bradford, Mady Terry, Rachel Brown and Camryn McCormick have all attained personal records or season-best with their times.  

Looking back over the season so far, both coaches believed that the best race was at Rocky Face Ridge while the runners believed that the best meet was the aforementioned Southern Showcase. “For me personally, the best meet of the season was the Rocky Face Ridge meet because of the sheer grit and guts involved to complete it,” Coach Crowder said. Even though it was the toughest course so far, everyone gave a great effort, and almost everyone participated in the meet. At the Southern Showcase, a lot of people got personal records and had fun on the course. “It was a very large course, and there were a lot of people,” Mia Callahan noted, “but we got to compete against teams that were like us, and we still placed very high.” 

In order for the team to improve as the season moves forward though, the coaches said that everyone needs to step out of their comfort zone and run with faster teammates as practice. “Everyone has to keep working hard and staying healthy,” Coach Craft said. The runners also had some things they think that the team can do better in, such as working on speed and running distance without walking or stopping. “I think the team needs to take practices more seriously,” Ryan Walker said. For coaches and runners alike, everyone has something to work on. The coaches want to work on giving more attention to runners and runners want to work on being better leaders and getting faster. “I need to work on sprinting, getting faster, especially in the last mile,” said Mia Callahan. By working on all these things, the Cross Country Team will ensure their continued success.