Cross Country Coming to a Close

Harley Buffington, Sports Writer

 Cross country is a very interesting athletic pursuit. It can provide you with many benefits to your life both physically and emotionally.  But it is often underrated by most people and is certainly overlooked by the average student at Mountain View. So what can be gained from being on the cross country team? And why should you join it? 


  The cross country team is lead by coach Mallory Bau. Bau has been a coach for the cross country team for the past for years. But this year is her first one as the team’s head coach. But Bau has no plans of calling it quits as a head coach acknowledging that she wants to coach the team for “as long as I can.”  Her first season as the head coach can largely be called a success. Overall, JV cross country students have dropped roughly three minutes off of their 5K times, the size of the boy’s program has increased, every boy on the varsity team broke their personal records, and several athletes qualified for state. The cross country team is improving greatly and is simultaneously growing. So why should you be a part of the quickly growing group of student-athletes?


  Bau has identified some qualities that make people better cross country athletes as well as better athletes in general. The first of these three qualities is a willingness to work hard. A person’s willingness to go the extra mile and to push themselves to go faster, whether in practice or during a cross country event. A willingness to work hard is incredibly invaluable in the sport of cross country. But it is certainly not the only important quality in a cross country athlete. Bau pointed out that another quality that she notices makes the best cross country athletes is having an interest in getting better and being interested in improving yourself. This becomes beneficial when it comes to things such as wanting to improve the amount of time you work out, to improve stamina, all leading up to things such as wanting to get a better time at cross country events. The final point that Bau brought up may seem to be a slightly unusual one when compared to the other two. The final quality is having an interest in sports. In a way this makes sense. It is important that if you are playing sports, it is important that you have a certain respect and appreciation for the amount of dedication and effort that it takes to not only participate in a sport but to be successful in that sport.


  Now that you know about the types of qualities that make a great cross country athlete, why should you make the decision to become a part of this group? The first benefit that may come to mind would likely be any one of the many benefits of running. You will be joining a group full of people that want to help you succeed and make you the best person that you can be. Athlete, Laurene Powell, goes as far as to say that “being on the cross country team is less like a high school sport and more like a family. We’re super close and we just want the best for each other.”  Joining the cross country team is a great way to get into a close-knit, fun group of people that want to help you do your best. According to Bau, if you are interested in cross country, you “will work hard and join a great community of supportive teammates.” 


  Another one of the benefits is, of course, the benefit of running. Running has been proven to be one of the most beneficial things that a person can do for their health. According to Bau “Running, especially distance running is something that you can do for the rest of your life. Why not get started now? We are a great family who enjoys spending time together.” Furthermore, Lexi Warner, athlete, speaks of the mental benefits of running. “I’ve found that running really helps you focus more and helps you work through your emotions.” Running is a great way to help keep you calm and focused. If you are interested in cross country but you aren’t sure if you can handle the amount of running, track is a great way to get into things like cross country but do it in a way that comes with slightly less running. 


  Cross country is a very beneficial pursuit. It can help improve yourself and can make you feel accomplished when you succeed or improve on a previous best. It can also be a great way to improve your health and to clear your mind. A team full of talented people who are supportive of you, fun to be around, and want you to succeed and see you grow as both an athlete and a person. This season is coming to an end, but track season begins in January and the next cross country preseason runs from June to August. With the regular season starting later in August. Practices are Monday through Friday, 4:10 to 6:00, with meets happening Friday afternoons or Saturday mornings. If you’d like to join, make sure that your athletic packet and physical are complete, and speak to Coach Bau in room F130. If you are looking for a fun new challenge, a new environment, and for a great way to improve yourself, consider joining the Mountain View High School cross country team.