Cross Country


Photo Credit: Coach Roane

Alex Smith, Assistant Editor-in-Chief

Cross country has returned and although we’ve lost some teammates, we’ve gained a handful of freshman runners (two of whom are new to the school) and it already seems like this year is going to be an improvement from last year. Last year, we entered into several elite races with schools like Highland Park and Flower Mound (and many other larger schools). This year we’re racing in meets that are just as competitive but with schools more our speed. Many schools we faced last year had as many as three times the number of runners.  That’s not to say those meets didn’t teach us well; we learned discipline and grew as runners.

For some, practices have been going on since June or July. Coach Roane has had us running a variety of rough workouts on the track, hills, and fields on campus. The outrageous heat that accompanies the dog days of summer intensified these runs. For most, however, the mandatory practices started in August. These weeks of practice were in preparation for the inter-squad meet that was held Saturday, August 18th on campus. These practices consisted of the usual heavy distance, but the rain and cloud-filled skies made it easier for us all to run (despite the occasional massive mud puddles).

The day of the inter-squad meet was absurdly hot, to say the least; several runners barely made it across the finish line. The 5k race consisted of several loops around the campus, including both fields and several hills. Each mile had several loops of its own so the hardest part was even remembering where to run. Our top three runners were Alex Smith (’21), Nico Walz (’20), and John LeSage (’20). Every runner had slower times than normal because of the weather, but the team is hoping that the times become a motivation for the rest of the season. After the meet was over, a BBQ was held and families were able to converse as the runners nearly passed out. The meet was a good kick-starter for the season and could set the tone for the typical placings of the runners.

Our next meet was the Waxahachie Invitational, where Varsity placed first and Junior Varsity placed second. This meet was wildly hot as well, and the course had many inclines. We raced against the 4A schools for JV and varsity, which made the competition easier for us. Nevertheless, the dry course made it another grueling run. Our top runner after this meet was John LeSage (’20) and the varsity team was interviewed by the MC of the meet, something we’d never seen before. It felt great leaving the meet with a trophy and second place title; this meet served a critical purpose for our confidence going forward.

The team has high expectations for this season’s results, especially after that last meet. We have many newcomers lifting team morale and adding success, with Luke Rakowitz (’22) leading the charge of the freshman. And the team is in good hands with Max Rogers (’19) as the new team captain. Our more than worthy mentor, Coach Roane, has also been especially pushing us this year. As usual, the words “embrace the race” will continue to be engraved in the team’s mind every day of this season.