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The Cardinal Column

The Cardinal Column

Crossing the Finish Line


Amongst the highly focused Football season, other sports tend to get overshadowed in the midst of it. One of those sports being Gainesville High School’s Cross-Country Team.

The team consists of around 20 kids and two coaches, Coach Lee and Coach Joyner. The team trains every day of the week in all sorts of weather conditions. They practice in the rain, extreme heat, the cold, during the evening, wind, etc. Their training consists of tempo workouts on Mondays. According to various team members, tempo workouts mean to run hard but comfortably. 

On Tuesdays and Thursdays, they go for light jogs around the school. Wednesday and Fridays are built to work on speed and weight training. As you can clearly see, this sport requires you to be dedicated even in times where all you want to do is pass out and sleep. It is a rigorous task but is immensely rewarding. Seeing that finish line fills the players with a sense of pride as they get closer and closer.

Just like other sports, cross country is a big mental game. Being mentally prepared is just as important as being physically prepared. 

“My largest struggle is pre-race nerves and knowing how to pace myself during a race,” sophomore Eliana Bernarte said.

Having to overcome that nervous block is critical in aiding the success of the racers. If you focus entirely on all the things that could go wrong, you will not perform as well. Bernarte had a similar experience where she had not performed to as high of a standard compared to what she had done previously. Luckily for the team, they have supportive teammates and coaches during these tough times. 

“The coaches support the players by not making us feel bad about ourselves,” Bernarte said, “They cheer us on during our races and let us know when we need to modify our pace in any way.”

The key to success for each player is having a good support group. Whether that be in the form of teachers, teammates, parents, or anyone else. Having that person or group that you can rely on makes all the hard work a million times easier.

Cross country might not appeal to as large of an audience compared to other sports, but it is just as valid as any other sport.


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Rebecka Hanner, Journalist
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