It’s more than just running

       Everybody knows that you run during cross country, but the reality is, it’s more complicated than that. Cross country is more than just running. It’s a physical test, a mental game, and a bonding experience with fellow runners.

       Many members of the teams enjoy running, but struggle with the mental aspect of the sport. John Schaefer, ‘16, is no exception. “ I enjoy running. It makes me feel free,” Schaefer said. “The hard part is putting the race into perspective and mentally convincing myself that I can be as good as I want to be.”

       Some people on the team just run to stay in shape, but others love the thrill of competition and winning. Andrew Donovan, ‘16, and Hanna Meyer, ‘16, would be two of these people. “ I run cross country because it’s fun and I enjoy it,” Donovan said. “To be a good runner you have to be mentally tough, so I prepare myself for a race by thinking positive.”

       Like Donovan, Meyer brings a positive attitude to the team. “ Cross country makes me feel good about myself when I can set goals and reach them,” Meyer said. “I think that having a positive attitude makes a strong runner.”

       Running 3.1 miles as fast as you can is a daunting task, even for Wahlert’s best runners. Grace Herber, ‘18, is the girls’ number one runner and still gets nervous before meets. “ I distract myself before I run. I don’t think about what I’m doing until I’m done,” Herber said. “If I think about the race, I get nervous.”

For these runners, and many more, cross country is a fun sport, but takes a lot of guts and dedication to be successful. Head boys’ coach, Mr. Tim Berning, understands this. “I like to be encouraging in an attempt to create intrinsic motivation,” Berning said. “I want to be a positive coach so that the runners take it upon themselves to become successful.”