Running Towards More Success
On the outside, people tend to see football as the most important high school sport. That can sometimes be true, but students tend to overlook their own teams that do exceptionally well because they’re not as talked about. The girls cross country team had top finishes at every single meet and invitational last year. Their team finished fourth in the state overall, which was the highest they had ever placed. Yet despite all these school records, their support has not been schoolwide.
The new captains for each team will have to face new challenges after last year’s seniors have graduated. The boys decided on seniors Ben Rowles and Jon Wells as their captains, and the girls decided on Kate Koser and Katelyn Callaghan. All four of these runners placed very well in competitions last year, and they look to continue or top that success this year.
Jon was pleased with the success of their summer training. He said, “We had great turnouts at all of our summer workouts, and it’s really showing now that we’re in camp. Everyone’s working hard and this season looks promising.” Kate also mentioned that the girls were looking great as well and are prepared to do their best. She said, “Based on the summer runs everyone looks good. Everyone knows that they have to run over the summer or they will have a hard time making it through the first official practices. I hope it is going to be a good season. Everyone seems very excited and is willing to work hard.”
Beyond the obvious tiring work that all the members of both teams put in, the new captains all recognize the seriousness and importance of their responsibilities: both as a leader and a role model. Katelyn said, “I have always looked forward to being a captain of our cross country team. I was an assistant captain last year, which was a good experience. However, it does not really compare to being a head captain this year. It feels great knowing that not only do I get to lead our team, but I also get to set an example for all the younger girls. It is definitely a big responsibility, but I am proud to be a captain of such an amazing team.”
Ben also realizes how important his role is for the team. He said, “It’s an honor to be able to lead this great group of guys that have been a team and a family to me for the past three years.”
Katelyn also believed that even though it would be hard to top their success from last year, it can definitely be done with the group of girls they have. She added, “I believe that our team definitely has the opportunity to not only repeat last year’s success, but even top it. Both with this year’s talent and with the help of our awesome coaches, I think that we have the potential to create another historic season for Downingtown East Cross Country. With our hard work and dedication, there is no doubt that we will have a spectacular year!” Ben continued with these positive thoughts. He said, “I think we have a good chance of topping last year’s success. Most of our varsity runners are repeats and have been doing well in practice.”
While these young men and women have kept their teams focused and conditioned, they do not mind having a little fun. On this topic, Jon said, “We have a lot of fun as a team. It was pretty common to have a frisbee out by the end of our runs. But we still work hard in practice while we have our fun, and get serious when we need to.”
Kate even talked of an interesting way to cool down after a hard run through the area. She said, “We try to make it fun. We welcome all of the new freshman and any other new members to the team. We don’t want to make summer practice too hard and scare any newcomers away. We haven’t been down to business the whole time. We take some breaks from our runs for team building and sometimes even jump in the Brandywine River after our run on the Struble Trail.”
The captains understand their roles as leaders and are ready to show it on the course and in practice. Their past success in the regular and postseason proves that they can get it done. And since both teams are retaining some of their most important runners, beyond their captains, they are more than confident that success is on the way. Only time will tell how much the school will be talking about them after the season is over.