The Unnoticed Sport at LHS


2016-2017 Cross Country Team

Anna Belculfine, Assistant Editor

Cross Country running is a grueling sport that demands as much training as any other sport at Ludlow High School. However, some cross country runners feel as if their team doesn’t get as much attention as other teams do.

The lack of attentions starts in the morning, says sophomore Harmony Picard, a dedicated cross country member. Soccer scores, football scores, and even golf scores seem to be announced regularly.

“The morning announcers say that there’s a game later that day and that people should go, but rarely, if ever, do they do that for our races,” she says, “We didn’t even get an announcement on senior night.”

Between various football games, soccer games, and volleyball games each week, cross country is often forgotten.

“It’s not soccer, and in a town where everyone has basically played soccer at some point in their life, a small team that just runs isn’t going to get a lot of attention,” Picard states.

“The people involved in the sport are very dedicated just as much as other players so I wish we got as much recognition,” says junior Jake Batista.

Runners on the team do understand that watching a meet is difficult because they have to run a course that spectators can’t exactly follow.

“I can see the lack of interest on the spectator side of it,” says Batista. “It can be a hard sport to follow especially from an outside point of view.”

Picard feels that cross country doesn’t get as much recognition as other sports even though they work just as hard. Many of her teammates agree.

Cross country practice takes place every day after school for about two hours, with one practice over the weekend for a long run. Rebecca Gauvin coaches the boys team, and Stephanie Fernandes coaches the girls.

Even though the have two different teams separated by gender, they’re all one big team that practices and runs together. During a usual practice, they start with a quarter mile warm up. Then they stretch and depending on the day they either do a leg workout or core and planks.

Afterwards, everyone goes for their runs and then they come back, stretch, and go home. Their runs vary depending on skill and experience. At least once a week they have a workout which usually focuses on either distance, speed or both. And if the team doesn’t have a meet that week then another workout will take its place.

“Even though we run a lot and push ourselves more than we ever thought we would, cross country is so fun and the highlight of my day almost every day,” says Picard.

Picard and Batista both admit that as much as it hurts sometimes, that it is one of the best things that they have ever committed themselves to. Batista adds that joining the team helps you learn a lot about the physical capabilities of your body and can continue to challenge yourself.

Both Batista and Picard believe that this sport has such an amazing social aspect and that their team really feels like a family to them.

“Ever since I started running cross country last year I’ve met so many nice people, literally everyone on team is friendly,” says Picard.

Her favorite part of racing is finishing it because it’s a full out sprint that she puts every bit of her energy into. Picard finds it being the most thrilling part of each race, and Batista agrees as well.

“Cross country is all about discovering your physical boundaries, then pushing yourself ten times harder than that to succeed,” says Picard.