Going The Distance

Not too many high school students have the consistency and motivation to arrive at school at 6:30 AM just to run long distances. The individuals that are up to it are what we call cross country runners. They’re slender, mentally tough and committed. Led by Coach Janice Miller, Brahma cross country strides to run the best distance race they can. Pablo Gutierrez, a junior, believes cross country is quite challenging.

“Cross country is harder than any other sport. Not just anyone can do what we do,” Gutierrez said

Whether it’s a morning meet or practice, motivation is vital to the team. Looking up at the finish line only to see fans or teammates cheering them on will most of the time cause arms to pump faster and legs to move quicker, regardless of how dog tired the runners are. Just a few seconds faster may change the outcome of a race for the better. Motivation is key to achieving this; and Ashley Keeter, a senior, has no problem with this.
“The team keeps me motivated and wanting to continue. It’s a great impact on what I do,” Keeter said

In order to survive the rigor of cross country, one must have much preparation. Cross country demands running miles during the day, at practice and outside of school. The athletes also have to take time to find their running pace in order to run their best possible race. For Keeter, even the bus ride before the meet is important.

“It’s good to keep upbeat, talk to friends and listen to music,” she said.

The race itself will usually start in a large open field and continue on through woods; or sometimes uphill or over rocky terrain, which is what separates cross country from regular distance running. The minds of some racers wonder while they run, but Gutierrez prefers to keep his blank.

“I think about absolutely nothing. Everything erases from my mind,” he said.

Cross country currently runs on Saturday mornings. The team improves everyday with every mile as they strive to be as successful as possible.

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