The cross country team began their season with a meet on Friday in Flower Mound. The boys team came in fourth place, and the girls team came in second place.
“This was the first meet, and we still have several weeks to improve,” head boys coach Logan Kelly said. “We started out well with this meet, but it is not where we want to be. We still need to improve quite a bit.”
The team practiced throughout the offseason. During the summer, they ran and worked out at Celebration Park Monday through Friday, but they also practiced on their own and kept up with their times through a team mileage log.
“This meet was really just to get us back into our racing zone,” sophomore Malia Bowling said. “To prepare, we all worked super hard this last week, not only during workouts, but also outside of practice. We [ate] healthier, [drank] lots of water, rolled, stretched, etc.”
Although, according to Bowling and Kelly, the team wasn’t pleased with their performance at this meet, this is only the beginning of the season, and they’re looking forward to improvement throughout the season.
“We practice each day Monday [through] Friday,” Kelly said. “Our runners run their long run on their own on the weekend. Our varsity runners know and understand what it takes to be one of the best teams in the state – the sacrifice and dedication required – and they are doing what is needed to be on that level.”
With this being the first meet, runners have to adapt to competing again after a long offseason. The team hasn’t competed since the state meet, which took place in November, so this meet gave them a chance to get back into their racing routines.
“Once I start [the race], the only thing I think about is racing the girl in front of me and the girl behind me, not my pace or time or anything like that,” Bowling said. “Throughout the run you have to stay not only physically strong but mentally strong as well which is something I’ve been working on all season and last year too.”
This year, the cross country season may look a little different because of the restrictions in place due to COVID-19, but the team is using those inconveniences as motivation.
“We feel very blessed to even have the opportunity to race this year,” Kelly said. “I am telling our team to race like it is their last race because you never know when things might end with COVID.”
This season, the cross country team will practice in order to grow stronger and reach their goal of placing in the top three or winning state.
“We work so hard every week getting in mileage, and improving in practice even if it’s just by a little. It [helps] your overall time so much,” Bowling said. “We also have to remind ourselves individually that we want it, because you can’t have a great team without being the best you can be, and encouraging your teammates to be their best too.”