The Titans first Cross Country meet of the year is this Saturday, August 19, where they will run for a first place finish against all the 6A high schools in the “Kosh Classic” at Westminster. The team has been working extremely hard this year, with summer workouts and different workout plans every day to prepare for this first race. The team is feeling strong going into the contest.
The Cross Country races are both an individual and team effort.
“You are trying to beat your personal record but also work together as a team to all get there as fast as you can because the faster your team gets to the finish line, the lower the score you get,” Senior Gabe Mendez said.
Coaches and players alike are very comfortable with how the team looks and feels as the season approaches quickly.
“After all our practices I feel really good about both our teams going into this race. We’ve trained hard for this and are hoping the hard work pays off,” Head Coach Anthony Cianciola said.
The trail at Westminster is a 5k loop full of hills and rough terrain, but the team is still feeling good despite the daunting course.
“We train differently every day to expose everyone to the different aspects that go into these races. One day we will practice the timed running, the next day we will switch to sprints, and then we will focus on the hill runs to prepare for this terrain,” Cianciola said.
The Titans are looking to seniors for leadership this season. On the girls´ side, Jillian Jacobs and Alexa Ward, who have been running Cross Country for the Titans for 4 years now, have really stepped up so far this season.
“We have so many talented runners this season and I feel like we can be really successful. We just need to keep training and pushing each other as hard as we can to set new records personally as well as as a team” Jacobs said.
The boys are looking to Senior Michael Smith to lead the team, with his great performance in the past and leadership skills that will help everyone work towards great times.
“Michael has really given me some good tips and is a great leader. He wants the team to succeed and pushes others to be the best that they can be,” Mendez said.
The Titans are looking forward to a great race on Saturday to battle for the gold and set the pace for the rest of the season.