Cross country is not an easy sport. Training starts in July to gear up for the season that starts nearly the same time as school. A typical practice consists of distance runs, speed work, drills, and running an average of at least 1 to 1 ½ miles.
This year the team started out with a new coach, Mrs. Jenny Gardner, who has run several marathons herself and has a background in track and field events.
This year’s team consists of just three runners: freshman Gavin Herd, junior Hailey Stevens, and senior Sydney Guardiola.
Coach Gardner says her most consistent runner would have to be Hailey, although they are all great and always keep working toward their goals. “I feel like they get better every day and they are very disciplined,” she said. “This makes them easy to coach and a joy to be around.”
Hailey said, “The hardest part about cross country, would have to be trying to keep yourself motivated. You have to keep pushing yourself.”
The team travels all over Missouri for races. They don’t typically draw much of a crowd, but anyone is encouraged to come out and watch these three athletes compete in a sport that they love.