Running Towards the End of the XC Season


Mia Benge

Dashing through the dirt, junior runner Tanner James looks to finish the CP Invitational strong. “The Cedar Park Invitational was super muddy which made the run pretty difficult in some areas,” junior runner Tanner James said.

Jalen Gomez, Reporter

After running well at home for the Cedar Park Invitational, cross country has been preparing for the McNeil Invitational on Sept. 29. With junior runner Owen Daugherty and senior runner Alden Yi leading the way, placing 8th and 32nd respectively, the team says they feel prepared for anything coming their way.

“The CP Invitational was a pretty big meet for central Texas, and it was a good way to see how our team stacks up to one another to the other good teams in the state,” Daugherty said. “There’s always room for improvement though.”

The season may have had a rocky start, but that doesn’t belittle the hopes of the runners for other meets in the future.

“We started off really strong against competition,” senior runner Alena Albertson said. “Then we fell back a little with injuries, but we’re figuring it out again and I think we will finish the season really strong.”

The runners run in order to score points for the team to have the highest placement in a given meet, but they said they do care about how they individually stack up against other runners and how the team has progressed over the course of their cross country career.

“I guess individually, I’ve been able to progress a lot this year,” Daugherty said. “It’s been fun to have the team progress around you as well, and everybody supporting each other.”

It has come with more rigorous training and more adjustment to the coach, leading to the team progression and overall success, according to Daugherty.

“We got the new coach last year, and we’ve gotten used to how he runs things,” Daugherty said. “We also have a lot of respect for each other and that’s helped us push one another and get better.

The training curve has been different for the team, as they’ve had to do more running during the week than in the past.

“The varsity guys have been running about 60 to 70 miles a week, every week,” Daugherty said. “We’ve been going at that since like late May, and it’s pretty much been a hard effort every day, seven days a week.”

With all the running they have been doing, it surely has prepared them for the success they’ve had now.

“I believe that we have been able to achieve early success in the season due to the work we’ve done over the summer,” Yi said. “With that, all of our teammates coming together and being able to get something done has helped with that as well.

For some of the runners, this season will be their last. Not only will it be more meaningful for those senior runners, but it will give them extra incentive to run even better.

“I’m looking forward to ending my last season with the team,” Albertson said. “I love that  we all put in so much hard work for each other and I’m just excited to see how far that’ll take us in the competitive season.”