Team Spotlight- CHS Cross Country Team


2022 CHS Cross Country Team

Henry Burnett

While watching a practice, a feeling of connection catches you. The immense talent becomes prevalent immediately. As they start to warm-up, all laughing and having a good time, a sensation of pure joy arises. As they go into their longer runs and intervals, a sense of determination flushes through you. The cross country team, led by a much larger group than in years past, has blossomed into one of the strongest teams in the school. With the boys’ captains Nathaniel Mckee (junior) and Luke Frank (senior), alongside the girl’s captain Lydia Bloor (junior), the CHS XC squad is looking better than ever. As both teams have started their seasons strong, they look to continue on this path for the remainder of the year. 

So far, the Knights have placed incredibly well. At the Quad City Meet, the boys came in 1st overall and the girls placed 3rd. Elaina Pierce, a freshman, placed 1st in the girls division. This success continued at the FUMA Invitational, where the boys team placed 2nd and Elaina Pierce with the girls squad placed 5th. As the season continues, both teams are looking to maintain high level performance. Jacoby Lynch (freshman) declares that “[they] will win states,” and to do so they need to “do what they do best.” Nathaniel Mckee, one of the co-captains of the boys team, a junior, said “We are trying to get a state title.” The girls are also trying to make a deep run into the postseason by at least “making it to regionals,” says Lydia Bloor. The head coach of the team, Ray Ackenbom, is also in agreement saying his main goal for the season is to “do well in the state meet.” The Knights will look to continue their success for the remainder of the year, specifically in large meets coming up such as the Albemarle Invitational on October 8th at Panorama Farms. Following that, the district meet is on October 19th, and regionals and states will follow. 

Every practice the group strives to get better with a new set of challenging exercises and drills. Depending on the type of practice, a heavy day or a recovery, the team completes endurance boosting, speed training, and/or agility drills. They always begin practice with a mile warm-up, along with some sort of agility exercises. Then, if it’s a hard day, they will move into intervals of running, such as 20 quarter miles in certain amounts of time. If it is a recovery day, they will focus more on stretching and light running. The team also has set some key factors for themselves in practices and beyond to achieve their high set goals this season. For example, Mckee hopes to “keep everyone healthy” in these practices and “train really well.” Bloor says they need to “stay connected [and] be supportive” of one another. With their intense practice schedule, key factors/goals and unitedness, the XC team at CHS looks to make the season one for the books.