SL Cross Country Team Sprints Through Fall Season

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Nolan Sargent

At each meet, athletes on the cross country team strive to place better than their last.

Evelyn Wang, Staff Reporter

Coach Justin Kocis was met with a pleasant surprise at the beginning of the cross country season. Despite losing several seniors, including two of the program’s best runners in Alex Kane and Dominik Lisicky, the boys’ cross country team has continued to impress and joined the girls’ team in maintaining success in the Colonial League. At publication, the boys’ team possesses a 16-1 record, while the girls extend their four-year-long undefeated streak.

Part of this success can be attributed to hard work and dedication. The teams started their preparation early in the summer and did not slow down when the season began. 

“We started in June and we run five, six days a week,” senior Will Kane said. “It’s a lot of miles, about 40 to 45 miles a week, and obviously we do some different training for different people in the team. We each have a certain job on the team, and if we can successfully complete that job, we can successfully win.”

Additionally, the teammates have worked to bond with one another and create an uplifting environment. They make buddy bags for each other, where teammates swap names and bring each other gifts. They also hold pool and pasta parties, stretch together before meets, and cheer each other on during races.

“I feel like everyone supports everyone, no matter how fast you are,” sophomore Greg Rubino said. “We all want to see everyone succeed and do better than in the past.”

The teams channel this support to overcome the many obstacles they face. With opposing teams, injuries, and empty spots to fill, success is not guaranteed. 

“We’re pretty young, we have a lot of new incoming freshmen, and some injuries are always something that I think are there,” senior Maura Lenhart said. “We’re just working hard and trying not to get complacent.”

Despite these challenges, the teams are ready to compete for league and district success. 

“It’s the closest the league has been in a while,” senior Drew Bruck said. “There’s lots of teams that can take the league title – Northwestern, Wilson, Notre Dame, Palmerton – but we’re definitely one of them, so we just have no room for error.”

As the postseason approaches, Coach Kocis believes his teams’ goals are within reach. He hopes that they will use their ambition and impressive start to find success at the very top of District XI.

“We haven’t lost in four years. Every time we race, you know we have an ‘X’ on our back because teams want to beat us,” Coach Kocis said. “It would be great to qualify to states on the boys side. It’s going to be very hard, but everyone has an opportunity. On the girl’s side, maybe [we’ll] even win the district, but our goal is definitely to go back to states.”