By ETHAN BLACK – On October 15th, the co-ed varsity cross country team won the Indiana County Invitational. COVID-19 couldn’t close the doors of Indiana High School, and it certainly couldn’t close the door on the cross country team. The team, consisting of both boys and girls from grades nine to twelve, have been getting on with their season since early August.
Freshmen and seniors, alike, all have one similar goal this season: finishing. “This season, the team has worked really hard to push each other in practices,” explained junior Melina Hilliard. “and we have learned, I think, as a team what we can actually do to push ourselves and not give up.”
The COVID-19 pandemic has had obvious impacts around every corner of IHS, but the cross country team is standing strong as the season progresses. “It’s good that I’ve won most of my races so far,” commented senior Joel Beckwith. The senior has recently come off winning the section championship, as well as the WPIAL section team championship.
The mandated restrictions haven’t dampened the team’s ability to work out though. “I have been working hard during my workouts making myself strive to do my best,” stated Beckwith. The team still practices with each other, but not as they are used to. Masks are required to ensure that social distancing is being demonstrated for all of the runners’ safety.
Cross country houses over 400,000 high school students every year and is rampantly becoming one of the most popular sports among youth. Runners are lined up at the beginning of a set course and race amongst each other. One of the main goals during these races is to set a new best personal time and ending in one of the top finishing places.
Senior Sarah Love is very impressed with the newest editions. “Overall, we got a lot of freshmen from junior high cross country. or just some new runners. They all have been a great part of the team and have contributed to what we have done this season.” She also is excited about their futures with the team, and can’t wait to see them grow in and outside of the season.
Beckwith somberly stated, “The covid restrictions have really made me realize how much I am thankful to be able to run with the team again and have enjoyable moments with the team again.”
Although the season is still in full swing, these runners know they must not take every practice and meet for granted.
[Photo by Erik Puskar]
Photo Caption: “Senior Maddux Fisanich races ahead of his competitors in the recent County Meet.”
Ethan is a senior and a first-year reporter for the High Arrow. He enjoys selling clothes and is a part of Key Club and Leadership. He is excited to begin writing for the school and his fellow colleagues.