Girls XC strive for success, push themselves

Photo by Joe Gonzalez Girls cross country recently celebrated senior night. Seniors have a big role in the team’s success by guiding the underclassmen.

Photo by Joe Gonzalez
Girls cross country recently celebrated senior night. Seniors have a big role in the team’s success by guiding the underclassmen.

Girls cross country has really picked up the pace.

In practice, in meets and even in the weight room, these girls have shown major improvement. The team is well on its way to reaching its goal of qualifying for sectionals this season.

“The girls are just doing so much better in terms of their workouts, their running and their times,” coach Mark Heintz said.

This improvement was demonstrated at the Lake Park Invitational where 26 out of 33 Elk Grove runners set lifetime personal records. Every girl on the varsity team has cut her time by over minute. Varsity is not the only team having a successful season, however.

“JV is undefeated in the MSL, which is really awesome,” Heintz said.

The JV team is being led by junior Autumn Carney, who has won every race.

Heintz believes much of this year’s success is due to competition within the team. 10 to 12 girls work hard every week to be in the top seven, which means they compete at the varsity level that week.

“This is a stepping stone in becoming a great team because people have to earn their spot more so than they ever had to in the past,” Heintz said.

While most people do not associate cross country with lifting weights, these girls have been doing some serious work in the weight room. Some of these girls can squat almost double their own body weight, and they continue to push each other forward.

“There are people who have been denoted as leaders, but aren’t necessarily called captains,” Heintz said.

The juniors and seniors know it is their job to set an example for the younger girls. Senior Lisa Vivacqua is very happy with her team’s improvement this year and constantly encourages the girls to keep working.

“I tried to step up as a leader for the freshmen,” Vivacqua said.

Although the girls have already improved so much, it is essential that the team keeps progressing. Qualifying for sectionals is going to be tough, but Heintz thinks the girls have potential to do it.

“If they can race like they’re training right now, it’s not going to be a question: we’ll go,” Heintz said.

 

By  Taylor Brown