CRLS Cross Country Fall 2019: Fighting Through Injuries Towards Personal Growth

Alex Deng, Contributing Writer

From personal growth to battling unforeseen challenges, the fall cross country season presents obstacles not unfamiliar for veterans returning, as well as opportunities to make a difference for a new class of talented runners. With the departure of last year’s captains, senior Vincent Chen is prepared to help lead the team onto the next chapter: “It hasn’t really been that tough as I’ve taken a lot of qualities I’ve admired from them and found it effective on the new guys.” Chen says that he looks to apply what he’s learned, whether this is “being loud and motivating them to stick together as a group to push through hard workouts.”

The rigorous workouts come with no shortage of fun either, with Alexander Rice ’21 stating that “part of the reason why we all come back to the sport is being able to train with the same group of guys, building that special bond through hard workouts and meets, but being able to measure your own growth individually as well.”  Coach Scott Cody has a favorite saying: “You can’t hide from the clock.” The perseverance and endurance that develops with the sport are applicable in school as well, and as running becomes a daily routine, practice becomes almost therapeutic. Junior Eben Lowenstein believes this, stating that “Running clears [my] head and is relaxing before sitting down at night to do homework.”  Teammate Maya Clemente ’21 agrees, citing that her love of running comes from runner’s highs, the rush of endorphins that not only lifts one’s mood but reduces pain and provides a burst of energy. Saturday long runs are not only meditative opportunities to experience this feeling, but also provide valuable team bonding time.

However, the season so far has not been completely perfect. Senior Danny Klein asserts that “When fully healthy, this team could go very far at All-States,” but injuries have been a common concern, with many on both the girls and boys teams working their way back to health. “We’re all focused on staying healthy and personal growth at the moment,” says junior Sophia Price. The team locker rooms have massive whiteboards with personal goals, times, and messages written across them that help everyone stay accountable. With injuries in mind, Sophomore Carson Ireland-Latimer states that “recovery is an important aspect that I’ve had to learn.” He also noticed that slowing down and understanding when and when not to push through was essential in staying healthy. “You can’t fight through every pain and keep up with every run.”  

With promising younger runners building a strong foundation for future seasons, Rice cites that “I’ve seen changes in the maturity of a lot of the younger runners, from work ethic to being more dedicated and focused.” Boys Team Captain Vincent Chen wants newer runners to know that they should “stay focused on your goals. Understand that your team is always there to support you, and never care about what others think because they don’t. We’re all rooting for you to succeed.”