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Cross Country...Or Squad Goals?

By Ben Berry

“From California to the New York island // From the Redwood Forest, to the gulf stream waters…,” as Woody Guthrie best states, coast to coast, going cross country is quite a beautiful thing. Speaking of which, I would be surprised if the Cross Country team hasn’t run across the United States a couple of times by now. Every day during 6th period their warmup is a casual 1 to 2 miles. Meets are as long as 3.1 miles, and practices are anywhere from 4 to 14 miles.

The cross country team just wrapped up an outstanding season. Both the male and female cross country team won the Eastern League championships. They are quite used to this achievement, and the women’s team has defended the title for the past four years.

In many sports, running is a form of conditioning, or punishment, and begs the question: Why would anyone voluntarily run? For the cross country team it isn’t about the running. It’s about the friendships and memories you make together. The team is a very tight knit group that embarks on a journey together, a journey that cannot be measured in miles. For the past two years the Cross Country team has gone on trips to compete at the Stanford invitational in Palo Alto, CA, and in the summertime, the Pointers travel to the Sequoia National Forest to conquer the beast that is Alta Peak. According to alltrails.com, the trail is for “very experienced adventurers.” Spanning a distance of 14 miles, the run additionally accumulates an elevation change of more than 3,900 feet.

A Cross Country meet is a no joke. Unlike other running competitions on tracks or flat surfaces, cross country competes on hilly, rocky, gravely, sticky, dirty trails. I recall a story about how Senior Brooke Rodi once lost a shoe during a race. Instead of turning back to retrieve her shoe, she ran on, despite the needles and rocks. This is a testament to Brooke’s commitment to her team as well as her physical and mental toughness. Although some meets differ, their races are usually 5 kilometers, or 3.1 miles. One of Teylor Howard’s greatest accomplishments as a 4-year Varsity runner is breaking 17 minutes. That’s maintaining a 5:25 mile pace for 3.1 miles!

Led fearlessly by Mr. Delong, this cross country legend gives Forrest Gump a run for his money. Generating a following that far exceeds Forrest Gump’s, our cross country team is the largest team sport at Point Loma High and sports the highest team GPA.


Photos from Sage Simms, Teylor Howard, and Brooke Budde.

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