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RHS Cross Country

Uma Zurcher

October 21, 2023

Cross Country is more than just a sport; it's a community that builds supportive friendships and has a lasting impact on the lives of its athletes. In a recent interview, two experienced team members, Charlize Solt and Nicole Petersen, share their insights on why they love running, along with their coach, who also has a passion for the sport, reveals the joys of coaching.

Nikki ( Nicole), a three-year veteran of the Cross Country team, has a simple yet profound reason for her love of running. "I like running because the team environment is supportive, and it builds strong friendships," she explains. High school can be a challenging time, and having a supportive group of friends who share a common passion is invaluable.

Charlie (Charlize), another three-year runner, highlights how running positively impacts her life. ,"It keeps you in good shape and gives you a feeling of accomplishment." she says. Running not only helps maintain physical fitness but also boosts self-esteem as athletes continually push their boundaries and set personal bests.

It's evident that for Nikki and Charlie, running is not just an activity; it's a way to foster strong friendships and enhance their overall well-being. This is a testament to the camaraderie and personal growth that high school cross country can offer.

The coach of the high school Cross Country team also shared some insights into what makes coaching such a rewarding experience. When asked about her favorite thing about coaching cross country, she responded with a smile, "Long distance runners are fabulous kids." The enthusiasm of the athletes and their willingness to push themselves make coaching a fulfilling endeavor.

As for why she decided to coach, the coach emphasizes the therapeutic aspect of running. "Because I love running, and it's fun to clear your brain on a long run," she reveals. For many, running is not just a physical exercise but also a form of meditation. The rhythmic pounding of feet on the trail can provide a sense of clarity and stress relief.

When asked about who's made the most improvement, the coach reflects on the team's unique situation. "We have a very new team; most have never run before, so almost everybody's improved." This highlights the incredible growth that can occur when individuals are introduced to the world of running. The sense of accomplishment that comes from improving one's running abilities is a powerful motivator for the athletes.

Cross country is not just about running; it's about building lasting friendships, staying in shape, and achieving a sense of accomplishment. The dedicated coach, with a love for both running and mentoring young athletes, plays a pivotal role in shaping the team's experience. This highlights the positive impact that cross country can have on young lives and demonstrates the beauty of a supportive, and empowering athletic community.

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