Cross country team moves to improve after SSC race

Junior+Maria+Puccio+Ball+finishes+37th+at+Seminole+State+and+4th+for+the+girls+varsity+team+on+Saturday+Sept.+17.+

photo by Victoria Tomeo

Junior Maria Puccio Ball finishes 37th at Seminole State and 4th for the girls varsity team on Saturday Sept. 17.

Victoria Tomeo, Lifestyles Editor

On Saturday, Sept. 17, the cross country team ran their standard 5k against neighboring schools such as Boone and Lake Brantley for their fourth race of the season at Seminole State. Even though the results and chins are still high, there is much to do after the departure of last year’s seniors.

Juniors Garrett O’Malley and Nick Ebert have become the leading boys of the team while senior Nicolette Worrell and junior Lauren Tucker continue to lead the girls. Worrell finished 4th place at SSC for the varsity girls while O’Malley finished 19th for the varsity boys.

As the team improves for the rest of the season, the current seniors have been reflecting on their final year running with the team.

“[This race] made it more valuable because it made me realize that I’m not going to be with my team forever,” Worrell said.

Since the team lost strong runners last year, workouts and preparation for upcoming races have shifted . The training has become more rigorous for both teams but race times have increased gradually.

“Ever since [former runner Andrew] Stivers has left, it has been hard for us,” O’Malley said. “Place wise, we haven’t been doing as well as we used to.”

According to some, improvement for them is crucial and requires all of them to run outside of their comfort zones if they want to get where they want to be. With practice and extra preparation, Worrell says she’s confident that the team will move forward.

“My friend told me that you have to keep running until it hurts and you can’t run anymore,” senior Makenna Lehman said. “That’s what I’m aiming for now.”

The team’s next meet is Saturday, Sept. 24 at NTC Clermont at 8a.m.

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