by Julia Neumann
Following the loss of many senior athletes last year, many teams may struggle to compete at higher levels without their star players. However, after having a solid building year last fall with new runners, the men’s cross country team is looking strong this season.
Last year, unlike many of the OES sports teams, the men’s cross country team did not lose any seniors. Since the team gained so many new runners last year, it was a good time for those who were new to the sport to develop their skills of racing and pushing through the “pain cave” during races. This year, they are looking very strong as a team and individual runners.
Cross country, as much of an individual sport, is largely a team sport. While racing, you might be on your own throughout the course, but you are really running for your team. Each varsity team consists of 7 runners, with the top 5 runners scoring based on their position in the race. Essentially, the faster you are, the higher your place in the race, the lower your number is, and the lower your team score is, which ultimately decides how your team does compared to other schools in your district. Therefore, while much of the race itself is individual, every piece of effort you put into training and meets sets your team up for success.
This year, districts are at the beginning of November. The varsity line up for OES this year consists of Asa Brown (‘20), Sam Lamb (‘21), Tyler Edwards (‘22), Nate Strothkamp (‘22), Dominic D’Ascenzo (‘22), Ashok Khare (‘20), and Hudson Hale (‘21). The JV team this year consists of many freshmen new to the sport, making for a promising next couple of years as racers build their skills. Additionally, at districts, the boys JV team will also have the opportunity to race. If the varsity places in the top 3 teams at the district race, they will be offered a spot to compete at the state championships in Eugene, Oregon, also in November.
Overall, the boys cross country team has had a great season and will continue to have one!