By Dominic J Larsen, News Editor
John F. Kennedy’s Cross Country team has not had the best season compared to year’s prior. According to a number of team members, many of the team’s best runners are no longer with them as they have graduated.
Regardless of the challenges the team faces, they work through them together. The cross-country runners have a tight knit kinship, far beyond that of your average sports team. Izaack Deguchy (12) demonstrated his gratitude for his teammates stating, “I have been on plenty of sports teams, but I’ve never felt close to my teammates nor did I like them as much as cross country. On the cross country team, my teammates are my family.”
Even runners that have just joined the team are quickly accepted into the team family. First year runner, Evelina Fedchuk (12) was encouraged by her friends to join cross-country and found that, “Unlike other sports, cross country doesn’t just require practice, it requires being able to push yourself to your limit. Running isn’t just physically hard, it’s mentally hard.” Evelina continues to push herself, continuously enjoying herself alongside her teammates.
Even veteran runners face the challenges that their rookie companions struggle with. With beads of sweat running down her forehead, Maya Vargas (12), one of the team’s fastest female runners, shared a story of her time before she joined the team, “I remember where I used to be. I couldn’t even run a mile.” Now looking back, she, as well as her team, is extremely proud. Before running off to grab some water, she left a few inspirational word for younger runners, “ I proved to myself I can do it.”
The team dynamic has led to a support system strong enough to encourage runners on the team to accomplish amazing things. This season, Mira Mohan (12) came in third-place in the Varsity Metro League Cross Country Championships, an impressive feat. Younger members of the team also made great progress, Nadia Vargas (10), won the Freshman/Sophomore Metro League Championship race. The next step for our cross-country team is traveling to Frogtown to compete in the Section Championships this November where they will hopefully make even greater strides together.