by Emily Williams (’22) |October 11, 2021
The Lancer Cross Country team recently started their regular season with their first WCAL meet at Golden Gate Park in San Francisco. The Frosh-Soph girls raced for a perfect score, while the boys had three runners in the top ten before finishing second, only behind Bellarmine and their famed boys’ distance crew. JV girls took the top spot, and the JV boys also finished second behind Bellarmine. Varsity girls finished in first place, with five scorers in the top six, and Varsity boys took second, again behind Bellarmine.
The Golden Gate course is known to returning Lancer runners and now the freshmen as a course with abounding beauty, and many athletes look forward to racing there. For these newly initiated underclassmen, Golden Gate was just a peek into what is to come during this exciting season— and beautiful courses are just one thing to look forward to.
The team will grow closer over the coming weeks as the season advances and members become accustomed to racing and training with each other. Ryan Agdassi (’22) says, “I believe that the cross country team has outstanding chemistry. Though this is technically an individual sport in that we train to achieve new personal records, this is really a team sport. We put an emphasis on supporting each other, both on practice runs and on the race course. And in the moments in between, I find that everyone, regardless of gender or age or ability, stresses the importance of creating bonds through kindness and inclusivity. Thus, running is largely a team sport because we make it that way.”
Within this inclusive and supportive environment, teammates and coaches push each other to improve their times not only to work towards personal improvement but also to develop each other’s confidence and character. Sofia Ruiz (’22) echoes this: “All the girls are super supportive and really help everyone try and set personal records or just feel really good on runs… I think everyone was really encouraged by our wins and is excited to see what we can do in upcoming meets.” The team environment fosters a sense of community and development while motivating everyone to be the best they can be. The opening race at Golden Gate was just the beginning and is a positive sign of what is to come. With these new opportunities, this season is a welcome relief for many returning runners who missed out on last season. Christel Elkins (’22) has this same mindset: “Last year, our championship season was cancelled, and a lot of our league was in-between cross country and track, so races were smaller. Our coaches worked really hard to make our 2020 and 2021 season have as many racing opportunities as possible, but it’s also been cool to watch our entire Cross Country team learn how to run in league races.” With the addition of many freshmen and the leadership of returning athletes, especially seniors, this season is set to be one to remember for the Cross Country squad. It will be another year filled with team memories, new PRs, and lots of running.