Mason Cross Country Returns

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Photo taken by Olivia Jolly

Olivia Kinney, Staff Writer/Lead Editor

Mason Cross Country faces a difficult first race of the season against Holt in excruciating heat. The boys ran strong, with a winning score of 20-36 while the girls lost 28-27, missing many top runners.

The course proved to be a difficult one, with an intimidating hill and not much downhill for recovery. Many competitors noticed that the course ran long, which affected their overall time. 

“The course included rough, root-filled stretches through the woods and a difficult hill that was run up twice” said junior Landon Buskirk.

On top of everything else, the weather made it extremely crucial to compete in. The woods were the only shade, although runners were not in there long. 

“We definitely better learned what to expect during a hot day, and also for the COVID regulations. If the temperature is high again, we know we need to keep off the gas for the first half of the race so we don’t overheat ourselves,” said Buskirk. “Additionally, we will be better prepared for the short warm-up and start time that came with the CAAC blue rules.”

Due to Covid-19, the race was set up differently and came with a multitude of rules. Runners had to adjust and accept these terms in order to compete. Competitors could arrive no earlier than 45 minutes prior to the start of the first race and had to wear a mask while warming up. Unfortunately, family and friends had to watch from inside their car.  Junior Madeline Chrome speaks on her experience.

“Having to wear a mask outside when it’s hot is difficult,” said Chrome. Despite the challenge of the guidelines this year, Chrome kept a positive mindset. “It was also weird to start the race so spread out from your teammates and the other team. I actually liked it better, though, because I didn’t feel so crammed during the initial sprint.”

Coming in close, Mason lost by one point on account of three Mason runners not able to compete.  As expected for a first race, besides new runners, no one could reach a personal record. Despite the upsetting results, senior Alex Mathews is confident in his team. 

“We have a great team we are all very close and enjoy eachothers company thats not something you get so much in other sports. we just need to stay positive and keep Putting Miles on our legs and running each race one step at a time,” stated Mathews.

Although there are fewer meets than normal this season, the cross country team is determined to take on states. 

“Overall it was a good first meet; it was a stepping stone on a long journey to the states. If we put in the work, we can make it. We just need to keep training,” said Mathews.