Instaspecial: Girls cross country captures memories on social media

December 13, 2021 — by Sara Bright and Carolyn Wang
The opening page of the cross country Instagram page showcases the account’s recent posts.

On the way back to school from a meet at Crystal Strings on Oct. 15, girls’ cross country team members passed around junior Irene Frazier’s phone, making a TikTok to post on the team’s Instagram account @togagirlsxc.

Anyone who scrolls through the Instagram account will find a plethora of running memes, reels and team selfies from the 2021-22 season, with stories posted even after the season is over. 

What originally began as a mere documentation of activities became an integral part of the runners’ team spirit.

The account was started by Frazier and Elizabeth Stoiber and senior Amoli Vanavadiya. The trio wanted to save the season’s memories from Vanavadiya’s last year on the team. It currently has 54 followers.

“It was a cool bonding moment where we were like, ‘We should create an Instagram account to document your last year,’ and everybody agreed,” Frazier said.

Frazier and Stoiber agreed to co-run the account, with Frazier operating as the primary photographer and Stoiber editing and posting.

“I like taking pictures to capture the happy moments of whatever I’m doing,” Frazier said. “When I’m running with others and having a good time with everyone, it feels great to share that moment with other people.”

In the account, photos and videos of runs are organized in story highlights or posts that span from August to November, intertwined with reels from bigger events from Homecoming to meets.

The reels usually feature members on the team doing TikTok dances, but occasionally included coach Danny Moon in action too. Both Frazier and Stoiber noted an increase in team spirit due to the account, which helped freshmen get more comfortable with the environment, and brought upperclassmen and underclassmen together.

Making reels for the team’s Instagram was one of the most uniting things we did this year,” freshman Saachi Jain said.  “After a hard run or a meet, we would all come together and share a laugh. Upperclassmen and underclassmen of all abilities could come together to celebrate our running.” 

Frazier and Stoiber plan to pass on the account to younger runners once they graduate.

“I really love the people surrounding it,” Stoiber said. “Still having the account that documented our memories has really improved the season.”

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