The Westside School Cross Country team ran in the championship cross country meet on Sunday, October 11 at Woodland Park. It was a beautiful, sunny day after the torrential rains of Saturday. For the championship meet, the two pools of runners combine, and there are over 100 runners in many of the races. One of the things coaches emphasize in cross country is setting a personal record. Since athletes run the same course, coaches are able to measure progress by comparing times against previous races. 21 runners set personal records last Sunday, which shows the progress and growth all had hoped to see.
McKenzie, this week’s female Athlete of the Week, was new to cross country this year, but showed her potential during her first practice. She has excellent running form and endurance, as well as good speed. It takes a while to understand how to run races and to accept how hard your body can be pushed, and this applied to McKenzie earlier in the season, but she put it all together in her final race. McKenzie finished tenth out of 104 runners, with a time of 7:07. We look forward to watching her continued growth next year.
Chester, this week’s male Athlete of the Week, has been running cross country at Westside School for three years. As a fourth grade student this was the first year he practiced with the team, and he had a longer race of one mile. Chester ran fairly well in his first two races, ending up with the same time both races, but he really shined in practices. Chester consistently gave his best effort in practices, and the longer runs suited him well. Coaches discussed a strategy of getting out faster at the start of the championship race, so that he was better positioned to use his good hill running abilities and closing strength at the end of the race, and it definitely paid off. Chester ended up finishing 15th out of 118 runners, with a time of 6:55. This was 38 seconds faster than his previous best time, and a great sign for the future.
Congratulations McKenzie and Chester, we’re proud of you!