Photo courtesy of Kyle Park

Cross country ends season successfully, chases hopes for CCS

Runners who qualified for CCS championships are still training for the meet, which will take place on Nov. 26. And despite several injuries on the boys varsity team, senior co-captain Kyle Park said the team still hopes to compete well during the meet while fostering a stronger sense of community.

Park said even though competitive success is important to the team, he wants to help create an exciting, motivational and inclusive culture, which can be difficult to achieve in such a grueling sport. 

“A long-term success for the team, in my opinion, would be a (community) that supports that notion of inclusivity in which nobody is left behind and everybody has somebody who supports them,” Park said. 

Park also said having a strong support system can help during races, especially for high-stake meets in which runners feel pressured to compete well. 

“It’s really easy to give into your nerves and lose focus, but we usually do a chant right before our races to help ease this feeling,” Park said. “I think experiencing that spirit in such nerve-wracking situations really helped us bond, both as teammates and friends.”

Senior Brooke Threlkeld said she values the team’s strong community, which has grown consistently over the course of the season, especially because the upperclassmen and underclassmen bridged the divide. 

“Everyone on the team is so supportive and caring, which created a sense of community even from the start,” Threlkeld said. “That’s one of the reasons why this season has been my favorite out of all my past years on the team, and I’ll miss all of the team bonding events like pasta feeds and group races.”