Cross country prepares for upcoming race

Runners flex their team bonding muscles

Varsity+runners+run+during+practice+Sept.+29.+The+cross+country+team+will+face+St.+Michaels+at+4+p.m.+Oct.+4+at+St.+Michael+Recreation+Center.+

Michael Hoikka

Varsity runners run during practice Sept. 29. The cross country team will face St. Michaels at 4 p.m. Oct. 4 at St. Michael Recreation Center.

Sophia Curran-Moore

As the team prepares for its next meet, sophomore Griffin Krone said he feels assured that the team will triumph over their opponent.

“I’m confident the team is in a really good spot. I think we could have a really good day. I’ve heard it’s going to be a good day for running, so I’m excited,” Krone said.

Cross country head coach Christopher Nordstrom said participating in competitions and team building for the first time since COVID-19 is refreshing.

“It’s been fun to be back to normal competition. I’m looking forward to continuing to get to know the kids and continuing to hopefully get our team to grow closer over the next month and a half,” Nordstrom said. “I’m looking forward to be able to do some team bonding.”

According to senior Nora Gardner, spending time with the team is an essential part of training for races, as the runners emotionally support each other.

“A really big part of (preparing) is getting the team together. On the bus ride, getting each other pumped up and things like that is really huge,” Gardner said. “We have team meetings quite a bit to … see how people are feeling going into races, because it is a really emotionally difficult thing sometimes and it can be stressful — especially if you’re just getting started. We really try to support each other.”

According to Krone, hydration, food intake and goal-setting help him focus on race day.

It is a really emotionally difficult thing sometimes and it can be stressful — especially if you’re just getting started. We really try to support each other.”

— Nora Gardner

“Hydration is really important. The day before (a race), we usually do a short run. Then, we have a pasta party, so we get a lot of carbs in. You have to be mentally prepared, too. It’s a pretty mental sport,” Krone said. “You try to focus on what you are trying to accomplish.”

Gardner said the team participates in yoga, visualization and pep talks to excel at racing.

“We did yoga this morning before school as a team, which was really nice. We also do visualizations … to calm yourself down and center yourself before a race,” Gardner said. “It’s really a lot of pep talks. We try to get together as a big group as often as we can and hype each other up and make sure we’re all feeling okay.”

The next cross country race will be against St. Michael-Albertville at 4 p.m. Oct. 4, at St. Michael Recreation Center.