Cross country: Season slowing down, runners speeding up

October 23, 2009 — by Sophia Cooper

Covered in dust, sweat, and grime, the girls pushed their way up the last 100 m of the grueling 2.95 miles. The hills had worn them out. The wind had made them cold. But the Crystal Springs course had made them stronger.

The girls’ cross country team traveled up to Belmont on Thursday, Oct. 8 to race at the S.C.V.A.L. Crystal Springs meet. This course will be the home of League finals on Nov. 3 and CCS finals on Nov. 14, so it was important for varsity first-timers to get a feel for the difficulty. Leading the pack was sophomore Courtney Scholssareck, finishing second in the sophomore girls race with an astounding 20:06.6, running 6:49 pace.

“[Scholssareck] really excelled,” said head coach Danny Moon, “[but] we [also] had people improve all across the board, from our top runners, to the middle of the pack, to the back of the pack.”

Next for the Falcons was senior Karen Wai, the sixth senior across the finish line in 20:43.3. Also running strong were ninth place freshman Caroline Chou and seventh place sophomore Emily Williams, running in separate grade-level races. Junior Hannah Harter and sophomores Lou Guy and Kristine Johnson rounded out the top seven Saratoga runners.

The team also raced at the Central Park Invitational on Sept. 29, with varsity finishing fourth out of 13 teams. Top runners were Wai, Scholarsseck, Williams, Chou, and Harter.

Looking forward, though, the varsity girls are focusing on League finals and CCS.

“We’ll be doing harder workouts and some hill work,” said Moon. “I hope that everyone has a good time [at League finals]. [Varsity] will just do the best they can, and we’ll go from there.”

Ignoring the speed and athletism, Coach Moon emphasizes the importance of having fun and running as a team, demonstrated through team spirit days and weekly secret buddy gifts.

“I really want [the girls] to run as a collective group,” said Moon. “The cross country team is like a little family, and it really is a lot of fun to have them.”

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