More Than a Sport!

Elliott Steinberg, Contributing Writer

It is my first year of doing cross country, and I was put onto the track on the fourth day of practice to run two miles. I hadn’t run at all during the summer. I had butterflies filling my stomach when I was standing at the start line. It wasn’t the best race of my life. I had one more lap to go and I wanted to quit as sweat was gradually dripping down my face. However, my coach yelled “you got this Elliott, keep going” and with that inspiration, I could cross the finish line. 

Cross country has existed for a massive part of my years in high school. Currently, Hall has 146 runners, representing the most outstanding team the coaching staff has ever seen at the Hall and Connecticut cross-country races. That is about twenty percent of all the boys that go to Hall High school.  If you put out group size on a graph, you will see most schools have ten to sixty runners. Then, on the chart, there will be a huge outlier, which would be Hall. 

The team’s success has developed over the past couple of years. Recently, they won the LL State Championship race and the State Open Championship race for the first time in School history. Success comes from hard work and dedication from practice. Colin Goldschmidt a senior stated, “I love the idea of bettering myself and improving myself to my best ability.”

Every athlete in cross country has to set a goal that they want to try to accomplish during the season. Isaac Mahler, a junior at Hall commented, “The running field has evolved to be faster this year, so we will need to push ourselves to the max to achieve our furthest goals.” His goal for himself and the varsity squad is to try to win states, state opens, and eventually New Englands. They broke all of their goals for the season. 

Even though our group is super big it feels like a “Tight-knit community”, said Mahler, “From our number one runner to our last runner everyone is looked at in the same way.”

Our assistant coach Michael Lage said, “Our team attracts so many guys because our reputation within and outside of the school community is one of inclusiveness and fun.” From the coaching staff to the athletes they are all welcome with different personalities and skills in cross country. 

Howie Lam expressed, “Getting out for a nice easy run with my close friends or working out or being competitive with my teammates makes the sport so much more fun.”With our team being so big, athletes want to compete against other runners on the team so they can push themselves to have a good race. 

During practices and gatherings, the atmosphere is positive. When someone is having a bad day somebody will raise their spirits to make the day a bit better at practice. I recently passed the finish line as a cross-country runner but it will not be my last time finishing a race.