For Highland students, being on the Cross Country team means much more than competing and running for first place. Members of all ages say they cherish the feelings and memories they make on the family-like team.
For the runners, an important aspect of Cross Country is staying fit and improving their physical skills through hard work and dedication.
Like many high school students, Kaylee Leavitt (9) balances many extracurricular activities and hopes to succeed in what she loves. Along with running Cross Country, Leavitt also plays soccer and runs track. She says she joined Cross Country “to help with fitness for soccer.” Many Cross Country members play multiple sports and hope to use running to their advantage in every sport they enjoy.
Leavitt is inspired by her teammates’ progress and says she loves moments such as the time the varsity team placed top 5 at a meet.
10th grader Leri McLaws is also very inspired by his team, saying “I admire the hard work and determination of the people that run cross country.”
Observing great accomplishments by other members encourages the runners not to give up and always do their best.
Another popular favorite among Cross Country students is the fun they have with meeting new friends and experiencing great adventures.
Many members relate their favorite memories back to their friends in Cross Country and describe the exciting environment they have built together.
Gabriella Costa (9) says she joined the team because of the “family-like support.” Senior Caden Kennedy explains how this bonding feeling helped him through Cross Country. When reflecting on his years on the team, he says, “I love fitness and I love running and I love the team.”
One silly aspect of being on the Cross Country team is running through different environments-such as rain. Kendra Fair (12) says one of her favorite memories was “when it rained in practice and me and my friends ran with our hair down.” Random times like this lead to fun, cherished recollections between members.
The team also loves going on camps, such as one they had this past summer in Prescott. These team-building trips are very memorable due to both the meets they run at and the fun activities they participate in.
Edward Burgoyne (11) says one of his favorite memories is going to pasta parties at team members’ houses. This tradition helps to create a familial feel between team members.
Many Cross Country runners relate their love for the sport back to their loved ones.
Like many others, Valentina DeClaire (9) joined because she was inspired by a fellow runner in her family. She says, “my mother was a runner and encouraged me to join.”
Cross Country allows students to create friendships and memories to be cherished even after high school. To this large team, the sport isn’t all about working hard physically, but rather helping each other to make high school a fun, loving experience.