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Cross country greets season with optimism

Photo cred: Malcolm Slaney

Despite a decrease in participants, the Paly Cross Country team has started its upcoming season enthusiastically and hopes to continue its success from last year. 

Cross Country Coach Micheal Davidson said he sees the returning team members as an indication that the team will do well this season.

“We’ve got a lot of talent that is returning,” Davidson says. “They have been working out pretty strong over the summer.” 

Senior Hillary Studdert said that she and the other team have trained hard over the summer to prepare for the upcoming season. 

“Most of (our training) was pretty individual,” Studdert said. “Towards the end of the summer, we had group runs led by one of the coaches a few times a week, but most of it was just the individual work people put in.” 

Studdert said she is enthusiastic about the team’s upcoming training. 

“A traditional week of training is six days of practice, and usually around three workouts, and Sundays off,” Studdert said. “And then as we get further into the season, we’ll have around one meet a week.”

Studdert also said that it is difficult to become accustomed to the rigor of the training, especially for new athletes. 

“It’s definitely a hard adjustment,” Studdert said. “But everyone seems to be doing pretty well and the coaches have been slowly putting them into full swing.”

Davidson said he agrees that the new team members are adjusting well to the workload. 

“They’re coming along, learning the routine and the regimen and getting used to the volume of work that we’re doing,” Davidson said. 

However, according to Davidson, the challenge is not the team members’ adjustment to track, but rather to keep them on the team, Davidson said.

“It just kind of remains to be seen what the new quality is going to be because we have kids who come in as freshmen, and then kind of disappear after that,” Davidson said. 

Davidson said the team has declined to just over 100d runners as compared to the 120 to 130 members they had averaged in preceding years. Nevertheless, Davidson said he is optimistic about the talent of the team this year. 

“We’ve been blessed over the last few years to have a lot of strong talent, especially at the boy’s level,” Davidson said. “However, we always need girls, we’re always shy on the volume.” 

The Paly track team will be participating in their first meet next week on Sept. 1 at Gunn High School, where Studdert said she hopes to see where the team’s performance stands for now.

“I think it’ll be a good opportunity to see where the team is at and just show how hard everyone’s been working over the summer, as well as room for improvement over the season as workouts get harder,” Studdert said. 



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