Mountain Star

Cross Country Explained

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Caelyn Long and Lilly Jenkins hit their strides at the Tiger Griz Invite in Idaho Falls.

Caelyn Long and Lilly Jenkins hit their strides at the Tiger Griz Invite in Idaho Falls.

Caelyn Long and Lilly Jenkins hit their strides at the Tiger Griz Invite in Idaho Falls.

Jackson Day

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While discussing up-coming articles here at The Mountain Star, we came to realize that as a high school, although we love our 6-state-champtionships-in-a-row cross country team, few people in the school actually know much about the sport.

Wikipedia describes Cross Country as, “a sport in which teams and individuals run a race on open-air courses over natural terrain such as dirt or grass.” That may not help much when it comes to understanding cross country track, but even the smallest amount of cross country knowledge seems like a step in the right direction for some students.

Captain Emmy Heywood does her thing and makes SVHS proud!

Senior Chloe England showed her ignorance when talking about the length of a cross country race. She said, “I have no idea… maybe like 30 to 40 minutes?” After getting he question clarified, she said, “Oh, distance wise, okay. 3 miles. 3 or 4 miles.” Senior Tanner Roberts guessed 5 to 8 miles. Junior Madi Wright responded, “I think it’s something less than 15 miles. So, 12?” The guesses were all over the place.

Emmeline “Emmy” Heywood, the girls team Captain, stepped in to provide some much needed clarification. Heywood explained that at meets members of the cross country team generally run a 5k or about 3.1 miles. In cross country there is no difference in the length of races depending on age or gender; however, males and females do not compete against each other directly. In order to train for their meets, members of the team train rigorously. Heywood said that Mondays and Wednesdays “are the hard days” during which

Runners take off!

the team may have to endure “1000 repeats, 800’s, 200 repeats, or maybe even hills or power runs” followed by “working with weights or doing push ups or something like that.” Tuesday and Thursday still sound pretty hard even though Heywood says, “They’re definitely easier” because the team takes part in “40-50 minutes runs.” For most people a 40 minute run sounds quite intimidating but not these athletes.

Scott Orton, the boys team captain, explained that on September 29th the team competed at Nike Portland XC. The meet took place in Portland, Oregon which required the team to drive over 30 hours in a 4 day period. Over 6,000 runners competed in the race from over eight states. Star Valley High School is the first school to represent Wyoming at Nike Portland XC. Star Valley represented our state well as the girls got 6th place while the boys got 8th place in their divisions.

Cross Country may seem intimidating, but as Scott Orton said, “Once you get used to the pain, it’s really fun.”

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Cross Country Explained