San Marcos’ cross country team is currently third in their League this year. Through practicing almost everyday, they have been able to perform well at their meets, especially the boys on varsity. On Mondays, which is when the team has their longer runs (ranging from an hour to 75 minutes), the top runners can put in 7-10 miles, while the following ones still run 5-7 miles. Not just anybody can say they did that.
The rest of their week looks like this: Tuesdays and Thursdays are recovery days where they only run for 35 minutes (roughly three miles), Wednesdays are to work on speed including mile repeats, hill repeats, and other various exercises to work on improving speed. Fridays are similar to Wednesdays, the team goes hard again, running hills, or working on speed. Saturdays the athletes are asked to go on a 30 minute run and Sundays are complete rest days to recharge. Every part of the exercise schedule works on building up to their three-mile races. This particularly applies to the athletes on the team that are new to cross country, which is quite a few this year.
Usually there are more than 30 female members of the cross country team, this year however, there are 19, making it difficult for the team to complete the required five run-times at each meet. Sadly, many of the top girl runners on the team have been out for injuries. Still, the meets are exciting and enjoyable.
“We’re having a lot of fun as a group,” said sophomore Easton Rose. “I like that I get to compete against and alongside my friends.”
Image courtesy’s to the San Marcos Yearbook and Jessicca Atkins
Cross country is not all about the physical act of running three miles though. In the time they are running, it is just them, their thoughts, and the sound of one foot after another. Being mentally tough is high on the list of what it takes to be a cross country runner.
“I’ve been coaching now for over 20 years and it’s a great group of kids,” said Coach Stehmeier. “Coming off the pandemic and the lack of mental stimulation during that, my kids are doing a great job. I’m proud of them.”
Along with that, cross country also comes with terrific sportsmanship.
“I like the community of cross country and the sportsmanship in it,” said freshman varsity runner, Baylie Bingham. “When everyone crosses the finish line, everyone is cheering for each other.”
The San Marcos Cross country team shows that grit, perseverance, and supportiveness go into what makes an exceptional team of runners. Be sure to keep a lookout for the team as you drive by More Mesa, Cathedral Oaks, and UCSB!