Cross country runners benefit from home race advantage

photo or infographic by Kendall Cobb
JUST GETTING STARTED. As the varsity girls’ race begins, sophomore Kinley Gibbs starts with her teammates. Gibbs was unable to finish the race because of a knee injury and being overheated.

by Stephanie Keele, VOW Multimedia editor

“Runners set.”


The gun goes off as runners sprint off the line, following the flags to lead them to a victory and a new personal record. Runners try to push their way up into the top ten. Parents and teammates cheering on the side lines. The infamous whistle of Coach Dana Fossmo can be heard from every area of the course. Sweat and expressions of pain fill the runners’ faces as they cross the finish line. 

Cross country held their Willis Invitational yesterday at Misty Meadows. Reagan Watson had an amazing time of 20:30 for a 5k that got her a fifth place finish. For the boys, senior Kayman Hatthorn finished with a time of 17:28 and an 11th place medal. Young talent started to shine as freshman Joselyn Lira placed first for the JV girls. The team has a lot of hope for the rest of their season. 

It’s not everyday the team gets the opportunity to have a home race advantage. The runners are glad to get support that helps encourage them to run faster. 

“It feels awesome to run at home because usually not a lot of people go,” junior Abby Taylor said. “It’s nice to have support.” 

After coming off a great race, hopes for district competition are rising. Home advantage and hard work will help push the team to victory. 

“I want to make it to regionals and get a personal record,” sophomore Reagan Watson said. “I’m looking forward to having a fun time with the team.”

Though runners are competing for individual times, cross country is a team sport. Runners are able to compete together for a greater goal, which brings everyone closer. 

“We are able to make great friends with not only our team, but others as well,” freshman Leighia Robles said. “It’s better to run together than alone.” 

Cross Country is not only physically challenging, but it’s also mentally challenging. Runners have to overcome the mental challenges to be able to get better. 

“I am overcoming my challenges by telling myself this is the last year,” senior Kayman Hatthorn said. “I have a chance to prove myself to everyone around me.”