Boys and girls cross country teams head to off to sectionals


Photo Courtesy of Madi Sisson

Junior Alex Spang runs in the IHSA cross country sectionals.

Ever since the beginning of August, the girls and boys cross country teams have been working towards a certain weekend: sectionals. Taking place on Oct. 31, both teams will be traveling to Lincoln Park, Chicago to participate in the IHSA sectionals.

As he mentally prepares for his team to compete, boys Varsity Cross Country coach, Brian Caldwell speaks on how the team has prepared themselves for the meet.

“The mental toughness and self-confidence that each athlete has at this point is really just from the work and workouts we’ve done. The guys know they are in the best shape they’ve been all year and to go out and just control what they can: their effort,” Caldwell says.

On the side of the runners, Junior Kelsey Casella shares how she personally prepared for the meet, along with her teammates.

“I have written out a race plan that basically lays out my race and how I want it to go. I’ve done this for races in the past and it helps me build confidence and feel prepared,” says Casella.

As the world is amid a global pandemic, Casella also reflected on how COVID-19 has changed their season.

“I’m grateful for every day I get to run because I know most sports are not able to meet as normal as we are. Our team has been treating everyday as an opportunity and I think that is reflected in our success so far,” says Casella.

The new restrictions of gatherings halted any form of team-bonding function for sports teams this year. Girls Varsity Cross Country coach, Douglas Plunkett expands on the idea of the halted team bonding gatherings.

“Much of our success is derived from the culture and closeness of our team. [COVID-19] restrictions have limited the number and type of interactions they can have with their teammates,” Plunkett says.

Even though this season looks a little different than normal, Plunkett and Caldwell are hopeful for both teams this weekend, whether they win or not.

“The confidence gained from all of the mileage they have run as well as the workouts they have completed plays a big role. The relationships they have formed with their teammates that will also help motivate them to endure when things get hard,” says Plunkett.