Cross country’s preseason got the runners prepared for a challenging season. The enthusiastic runners were trained under the careful supervision of Coach Sohn, Coach Castle, Coach Schwanda, Coach Lee, and two new coaches, Coach Junker and Coach Michael. The cross country team spent their days running on and off campus, working out in the pool, playing dodge ball, and eating s’mores. As Paige Hathaway said, “I really loved running outside campus. Preseason has allowed me to become closer to my team.” With hard workouts, dedicated coaches and a determined team, cross country has started their season strong.
On Thursday, October 13, the entire cross country team raced in the Joe Halm Memorial Alexandria City Cross Country Championship against the city’s three other high schools: Bishop Ireton, St. Stephen’s & St. Agnes, and TC Williams. Runners broke records and set personal bests as they raced in honor of Episcopal’s beloved cross country coach, Joe Halm.
Under the week’s intense training of Coach Sohn, the varsity boys placed second in the race, scoring 43 points and having a team average of 18:16 for a 5k (3.1 miles). Freshman Tre Simmons set a personal best of 17:54. Following the varsity boys, the varsity girls were ready to kick SSSAS again after beating them in the Seminary Hill Cup. Our varsity girls scored 3 place, finishing only 5 points behind Bishop Ireton. The junior varsity boys averaged a 20:09, losing only to TC Williams by only 7 points. The race ended with the junior varsity girls who scored 98 points, placing fourth. Karen Zhang was able to set an impressive personal record. When asked about her experience with cross country, she smiled and said, “I thought it was going to be really hard, but I will definitely do it next year. The course is really pretty too.”
Of course, the team would be lost without the leadership of senior captains Abigael Ajuma, Brooks Buyck, Gabi Navarro-Bowman, Oliver Randon, Alexander Block, and Philip Brossy, who all set great examples for both new and seasoned runners on the cross country team. The team’s hard work will definitely pay off during the final meets of the season.