Crazy for Cross Country

Staff Writer: Peyton Schroeder 

The 2021 Cross Country season has now started at Woodstock High School. This year’s team, led by Coach Wake, Coach Sumner, and Coach Mitchell, is looking promising.  

The men’s varsity team is led by Dillon Watson and Joseph Mines, who are both seniors. The women’s varsity team is led by Lily Bailey and Sam Burmeister, who are both are juniors. Additionally, the team has an exceptionally large freshman class which should be promising for the future of the team.  

They had a meet on Aug. 14, at Allatoona Creek Park, with 200 runners in both men’s and women’s varsity. Both Joseph and Dillon were out for the first meet because of injury and sickness, respectively. Bailey had a wonderful day, she finished in 8th overall out of 200 runners giving her the highest finish for the Wolverines. The team is expected to have around 10 meets this season, and the team is excited about the possibilities this year.  

Cross Country is not for everyone. This is particularly evident when it comes to the practice schedule. The Wolverines practice incredibly early in the morning, from 5:30 to 7:15. This shows that the athletes have true dedication to their sport. These kids are not just athletes either. Many of them have AP classes at school, which would be even harder to do with early practice every weekday.  

A lot of the runners are also multi-sport athletes who also run track in Spring, which is encouraged by the coaches. It is not just track runners who run cross country in the fall. There are baseball players, lacrosse players, and tennis players who run cross country to keep in shape. Cross Country is an exceedingly difficult sport because it is you versus yourself and you versus everyone else – this applies to the mental and physical aspects of the sport. 

The team shares a common goal all year and that is to place top 10 in each race. That goal makes the runners push themselves harder no matter what time practice occurs. There is direct competition on the team to be the best runner each race, but at the end of the day, they have fun competing against each other.  

“The feeling of beating Dillon in a race is so satisfying just because we are constantly in a friendly coemption to be the best runner on the team,” said Mines.  

“Competition drives this team at practice and meets,” replied Bailey. 

The team is awfully close to one another. Many of them hang out every weekend in the same groups, which is awesome for team chemistry. It is not just the players who are close with each other, the players are also close to the coaches, especially Coach Mitchell. 

This season will be one to keep up with. The runners are confident in their abilities to go out and place high in each meet. Hopefully, the team will make it to state this year to give our runners a chance to shine and podium at the state meet. The season will be going on until November so come out and support the team.  

Go Woodstock! 

Photo Credit: Joseph Mines 
Runners with their favorite, Coach Mitchell. 
Photo Credit: Joseph Mines 
Some of the runners at the 2020 State Championships. 

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