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The Student News Site of Washington International School

International Dateline

The Student News Site of Washington International School

International Dateline

Cross Country’s Banner Winning Season: A Recap


The calm of an empty WIS campus was interrupted on October 25th, when the girls cross country team arrived home with the PVAC banner. Running into Mr. O’s office, singing “We Are The Champions” was the culminating moment of an exciting and memorable season.

At WIS, and many other schools, cross country is an incredibly underrecognized sport. Last year, the girls’ team only had two runners, meaning that though these runners both placed in the top five, they were unable to score as a team. However, this season one junior and seven freshmen joined the team, giving the girls hope of winning championships after losing by one point in 2016.

“I wish people knew how hard we worked. I wish people would pay more attention to us so it’s not soccer, soccer, soccer,” said Rose Boehm, a Freshman runner on the team.

According to Statista, 214,000 high school girls ran cross country this past year. Though this seems like a lot, it is not much compared to the 400,000 girls playing soccer, or 1 million boys playing American football. This lack of runners is clearly seen nationwide, but is also evident at WIS.

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“Most people think of running as the punishment sport, and in some ways it is,” said freshman Sophie Racine, when asked about cross country’s low popularity. Racine ran middle school cross country, but chose not to participate due to other commitments this year.

The lack of runners seems to influence the amount of support the team receives. This season, not a single WIS student came to support the team at a meet.

“It’s a really hard sport to watch. Waiting in the cold for like 20 minutes just for one view of us finishing doesn’t seem worth it,” Michelle Hobdari, a member of the team said.

Despite the small crowds, WIS cross country still thrived this season, winning all but one of their meets, and winning championships by a huge margin. This incredible record is mostly due to the dedication of the team, who practice four times a week after school and run over the weekends.

“Practice can be really tough. We do hill repeats, 20 minutes out 20 minutes back, core after most runs, and an easier jog before meet days,” Boehm said.

With this intimidating schedule, it is understandable why some people choose not to do cross country, but most members of the team argue that the rigorous training is what brings the team together.

“I definitely think we’re a really close team. We all get along really well, bus rides are super fun and we play our hype playlist,” Boehm said, commenting on the team bond. “We are very different, you’ll see that in our music tastes, but we all get along really well, and we can talk, we just have a lot of fun together.”

In cross country, the top five runners from each time gain points for their team. The team’s two fastest runners, Maddy Connolly and Elsa Coony, are both juniors. The runners and coaches had mixed responses when asked about the future of the team.

“It’s nice that we don’t have to think about that for two more years,” said one of the coaches, Gary Piligian. Hobdari went even further to say “Umm..we’ll be kinda screwed.” However, Boehm remained positive, saying, “We do have really really good freshman runners. They help to build up leadership on the team. I think the freshmen are already built up and it’s setting us up for success in the future.”

Even with Connolly and Coony leaving in the future, the team has a strong group of dedicated freshmen who are committed to making sure the team continues its success.

“Three of the freshmen were in our top five runners, that bodes well for what’s gonna happen down the road,” Piligian said.

Now that the season is over, the team is looking towards track season and future cross country seasons. “I definitely think we can do win championships next year, and hopefully again after that!” Boehm said.

By Rebeka Tatham

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