By: Claire Austin
"Friendship, teamwork, strength, growth, and laughter are five words I believe represent this season," said Heather Burrum, a senior on the girls cross-country team. Reflecting on this year the girls cross-country team went through a riveting season, beating state records, improving personal records, and participating in special practice outfit theme weeks. Running at many different meets, runners reflect back on the season and are proud of their individual accomplishments, as well as the team's accomplishments.
With the winter months approaching, the girls are moving on to new sport seasons as well as missing the cross-country season. They are excited for what the next chapter holds. During this season in September, they won 1st place in Algonac on the 9th, 2nd place in their first OAA league meet on the 6th, and 2nd place out of 18 teams on the 16th. The girls cross-country team also had the opportunity to go to finals this fall. The team placed 8th out of 27 teams, with Mia Patria leading the team. This year Mia broke a record and became an all-state runner. Other runners on the team also beat previous school and personal records. Jillian Haas, another senior member on the team said, "The last race was the best race. Just the feeling of being done and knowing that everyone you finish with is tired, it made me feel good because I ran and achieved a new best personal record. Everyone hugged, and the team did very well." The team did well at many meets and during the season a lot of the girls also spent days and months training to put their old records to shame.
For the team to see their personal records improve, they do a mixed amount of training beginning in the summer. They spend weeks improving and increasing the amount of miles they run, in addition to doing cross-training and plyometrics. Plyometrics is known as "jump training," or "plyos," in which the muscles of the body are used at high force in order to increase speed and power. The girls do these during warm-ups too.
In addition to the strenuous amount of training done as a team, they also go to cross-country camp to run with other teams as well. This year, they ran with teams from Farmington Hills and Waterford. At camp, they participate in different activities, strengthening their quickness and camaraderie with their teammates. Jana Wilson said she met many different people at camp, and even got to go to homecoming at Farmington with her new friends. They also enjoy the camp because they find others who run at the same pace as them. It is beneficial to the team because they become familiar with the competition, and they can prepare for the impending season.
The girls cross-country team keeps the memories from camp in their minds and hearts as it also helps them before races with their warm-up regimen. Before they begin, the team stretches and does plyometrics. They huddle as a team and also give each other pep talks while they think about the goals they have for themselves and the team. It is very emotional for the team to prepare for a race, some even shed tears, however they all know that in the end, their hardwork and dedication will pay off.
The hardwork and dedication each runner has comes from their teammates and the bond they have. This year, the team tried something new to elect captains. They waited until the end of the season to elect their team captains so everyone could act like a leader. It united them, and it was easier for them to act as a team because a few of them were not singled out as being the best leaders until the end. This season for the girls was very successful, and for many of the individuals, they would not change a thing about their 2017 run.