Running back into the rhythm

Cross country strives for top five


Valerie Benzinger

A pair of running shoes sits on the track.

The cross country team is determined to make improvements to the team both as a whole and individually. Despite being in a competitive district, the team is focused and training hard in an effort to stay in the top five in the district.

“Our team is doing well,” head coach Heather Moss said. “Right now, we are focusing on running and racing as a team. Although cross country is an individual sport, running as a team and supporting each other is critical for our core values. We need to hold each other accountable each day and at each practice.”

Senior captain Tyler Hopkins has been involved in the team since his freshman year. Since then, he has noticed major advancements in the team’s ability.

“My freshman year we were last in the district; we were [in] ninth place,” Hopkins said. “So we worked our way up.”

The coaching staff believes there have been numerous changes this year alone. However, the team is also incorporating new ways to practice so the athletes can further improve their running strategies.

“We now practice at Harmon so our athletes can run longer grass courses,” Moss said. “The team has two new coaches with new training philosophies. We have changed our entire meet schedule and training plan. We are working on building team unity.”

Senior Cesilia Santos believes it is important for the team to work on maintaining a positive attitude for one another, leading to runners feeling encouraged to do well before the meet begins.

“We all talk about our [challenging] times and think positive beforehand instead of being negative,” Santos said.

In addition to implementing new strategies for the team, the coaches have also elected captains to help guide the underclassmen.

“We have captains this year to help emulate our team vision and goals,” Moss said. “We are using our seniors to help motivate and encourage younger athletes throughout the season.”

The coaches are motivating the athletes with the new adjustments, letting their athletes know with hard work outstanding progress will follow. The next district meet will be on Friday, Oct. 12 at North Lakes Park in Denton.

“We talk with our athletes and remind them that we believe in them and that if they buy into our program, results will come,” Moss said.