Coming into the start of the season, I wasn’t exactly sure what to expect. Sure, I’d seen the cross-country team running down Main St. on fall afternoons after school. Of course, I knew it was a lot of running. And we do run. A lot. But after a few weeks of practices, I have discovered that the sport of cross-country is much more than running.
The mental toughness that runners must possess is astonishing. Positive thinking can mean the difference between a faster time or a defeat. The strongest runners on NDA’s team always keep a optimistic attitude during their runs and are often rewarded for their hopeful way of thinking.
While cross-country is an individual sport, the role the team plays is huge. Encouragement from the team is a large part of success in the races. Knowing that all of your teammates and coaches are there to support you helps even the longer runs seem short. Through secret psyches and constant cheering, the team’s presence is made known each day at practice and especially on the days of meets. The supportive attitude of the team stems from the attitudes of our three coaches, who give every runner motivation every day at practice, regardless of skill level.
The Cougars are off to a great start this season. The first meet of the season was at Marshfield’s 2.8-mile course. Despite falling twice, Corrina Luccini, a junior cocaptain, placed second overall, followed by Sophie Love, a sophomore, in third place. Corrina and Sophie led their fellow top NDA runners who placed fifth, sixth, eighth, ninth and 10th.
NDA beat Marshfield 24-35 (in cross-country, the winner is determined by the lower score).
At the Martha’s Vineyard Invitational, NDA placed second behind Fitch (Conn.) High School. Seven NDA runners completed the 3.1-mile course in under 22 minutes, a great success for our team. On Tuesday, NDA raced against Ursuline Academy. The Cougars once again came away with the victory, beating Ursuline 27-28. Corrina and Sophie again took first and third, with Allison Wotton (6th place), Kelsey Steeves (8th place) and Adrienne Lohe (9th place) rounding out the top finishers for Notre Dame. In the JV race, every NDA runner recorded a personal best, some by two or three minutes. Molly Kincaid placed first overall in the JV race for the Cougars.
In the week ahead, our team looks forward to a JV meet on Friday at Newton Country Day and our first home meet of the season on Tuesday against Mount Saint Joseph.