Cross country experiences early season success

Cameron Stine

All four cross country teams have had early successes this season, with the girls’ team placing fourth and the boys’ team seventh at the Palos Verdes Invitation Oct. 3.

Previously, the girls’ teams placed first and boys’ team second in the Mission League cluster Sept. 22.

“That was the first opportunity to run against the other teams in our league, and so there’s a feeling of pressure, a feeling of urgency,” Cross Country Program Head Jonas Koolsbergen said. “And we just came through on that day in such a special way: all four teams, all four levels, both genders, just a top to bottom fantastic day.”

The commitment levels of the team this year have been higher than usual, especially among the varsity members, which has led to a stronger team bond, according to Koolsbergen.

“Cross country is always a team effort because one person can only do so much,” Koolsbergen said. “Just in the way the sport is formatted and the way the sport is scored, you need to be 5, 6 or 7 runners deep. And that is really what we’re aspiring to do and hopefully what we are and what we will exhibit in our biggest competitions come November.”

Casey Crosson ’17 said she feels that the team has grown very close this season, especially after attending training camp in Big Bear this summer.

“We bond over the hard work we do, and we are so supportive of each other,” Crosson said. “We spend a ton of time together and are there for each other on the bad days and the good days.”

Koolsbergen expected this to be a strong team, but is surprised by how quickly the squad is producing results usually seen at the end of the season.

“We definitely thought that excellent performances were in the realm of possibility, but it’s a matter of going out and doing it,” Koolsbergen said.