Girls XC looks to Improve Performance

Minimization of running groups leads to modified practice routines

Drew Cushing , Reporter

After not qualifying as a team for the state competition for the first time in 14 years last season, the girls’ cross country team is focused on improving itself this year by changing its practice routine.

One change they are implementing is cutting down from four groups of runners to three groups.  This change will cause a larger amount of girls to be running together with two coaches looking over each group to ensure that each runner puts forth her best effort.

“The hope is that the runners will get better and the overall quality of running will improve,” Varsity Coach Stetson Steele said.  “We want to improve the quality of training and instill the idea of hard work on a consistent basis.”

The reduction of running groups allows for the girls to focus more on intervals and to go on longer tempo runs during practice to get the best workout from each runner.

“It motivates the girls to get more mileage, because they know they can move up in the groups, and it makes moving up more accessible so they can get better as runners,” Sam Stuba ‘15 said.

The team’s goal is to qualify for the state meet this year, something they are very hopeful to do since they have a deep lineup that consists of many talented four-year runners.  The cross country team has also focused on the idea of “committing” to better each runner and the team as a whole.  The larger amount of people in the groups helps with team encouragement and motivation.

“I think we’re all good teammates and try to support each other, and now there’s more people to push you in the group workouts.” Katie Hamor ‘15 said.

According to Stuba, the seniors are showing more leadership qualities and everyone likes to help encourage each other. The team is eager to show how they have improved over the last year.

“Our team expectations are to be competitive in conference, at our major invitationals, and ultimately, to make state,” Steele said.

LT competes in the WSC Silver conference, which also includes Oak Park and Hinsdale Central, both of which placed Top 15 in the state meet last year.

The varsity team placed second behind Valparaiso at their first meet, the LT invite, which was at SC on Sept. 6.