Cross country teams work magic at Mingo

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Girls team poses for a pic before the start of the junior varsity race at Mingo Park

Claire Makowski, Staff Writer

Walking up to the starting line, the cross country athletes had one thing on their minds, cookie cake, the grand prize for the team that survived ‘killer hill,’  and crossed the finish line first.

At the Mingo Invitational on Wednesday, Oct. 10, the junior varsity girls, junior varsity boys, and varsity boys cross country teams ran the 5 kilometer long race, while the varsity girls came to support their teammates and to rest from the many races they had in the last six days.

About running up ‘killer hill,’ David Erzen, one of the boys top runners, said, ”The only things going through my mind going up killer hill were positive reminders that I told myself.”

As he crossed the finish line with the amazing time of 17:04, David said two things had helped him during the race.

“My even pacing is my savior in every race, including Mingo,” David said.

He also said that the positive  reminders he gave himself helped him tremendously.

“It’s easier to run faster with a good, positive attitude and saying that you can do it.”

Because of the efforts of David Erzen and his teammates, the varsity boys received second overall. It turned out that the consolation prize was a tray of cookies.

After the varsity boys and girls race, junior varsity boys went to the line. Nathan Makowski, a freshmen, went up to the line with a goal to break twenty minutes. Before the race, Nathan said he was very nervous, but excited to try this new course.

As the race went on for the junior varsity boys, Nathan realized the challenges of this course. During the race, Nathan said he could only think of one thing, “Wow these hills are tough!”

But one main thing got him through the challenges of the course. He said that all the people cheering for him, especially the varsity girls, helped him through the race.

“My favorite part of a race is when people cheer for me during the race, and the varsity girls really motivated me!” Nathan said.

As Nathan crossed the finish line with a time of 20:13, he felt relieved and happy, but exhausted from the efforts he put on the course that day.

The efforts shown by Nathan and his teammates gave them fourth place in the invitational.

Finally, the junior varsity girls headed up to the starting line. Maria Capozzi, a sophomore, was ready to lead the team to victory. Maria said she was nervous because she really wanted to race well, but was excited to see what she could truly do.

When the race started, Maria knew the course was going to be challenging and exhausting, but she really wanted to stay strong. Her goal was to try her best and help the team win first, so she knew that she really needed to push herself.

Even though she pushed herself, she still felt that she couldn’t have done it without one factor: her teammates and coaches.

“The rest of my teammates and the coaches being everywhere cheering and encouraging me to keep going helped me during the race!” Maria said.

Racing in second for most of the race was scary at first for Maria, but she also said it helped her.

“At first it was really scary, but after a little it helped cause I knew I had to keep a strong pace or I’d fall behind.”

As she crossed the finish line with the time of 22:18, Maria said she was really proud of herself for helping the team and she was really proud of her teammates as well.

Because of the awesome efforts made by the girls, the junior varsity girls received first overall.

As the teammates remember the course at Mingo State Park, they are all proud of themselves. Whether it was hard work or even the magic of the course, their outstanding efforts will be forever engraved in the Mingo Invitational record books.

 

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