Speed + Power + Determination = CHC Cross Country

Speed. Power. Determination. These are the elements the cross country runners are focusing on for the final days remaining in fall sports.  With a chance of winning TCIS and making it to states, the cross country runners are not slowing down at all. Although many people wouldn’t even consider running long distances, cross country runners find it common to run 10 miles a day. They run in blistering heat and pouring rain.  Every single athlete is pushing each other and themselves to and past their limits for the benefit of the CHC team.

“This year has been a great year for cross country,” says Coach James Lancaster. “We have seen bigger numbers on our team and have grown as a group. I believe it is due to the camaraderie that a group of individuals develops when they all pull towards the same goal.”  Coach Lancaster believes this is something that is specific to cross country saying, “I believe you can’t really get that in other team sports because you will always be improving, and if you don’t win the race, you can still have the opportunity to beat your time.”  Coach Lancaster thinks the team has a “promising end of the year” as both boys and girls have a chance to score at TCIS and states. The boys have a chance to finish in second place, which they have never had the chance to do. Girls have the chance to finish in the top 4, which they have also never had a chance to do. These standings show improvement because last year the team had only had one girl who could break under 20 minutes. Now we have four.

When asked if any runner has shown improvement, Coach Lancaster was quick to reply, “All of my runners have improved because they improve their time at every practice and race. Specifically, I would highlight Berk Alptekin, Nick Damuth, and Zach Earl (all class of ‘21). All three of them have gotten their time under 18 minutes. They are running 2 minutes faster than they were last season.”

When Berk Alptekin was asked what he likes most about running cross country, he replied, “Running is a way for me to take my mind off school. It gives me something to look forward to at the end of the day.  It also lets me clear my mind while I run.” Berk also believes that the CHC team would be improved with more student-athletes saying, “If we had more runners, we could qualify for more events and participate in more races, gaining points for all the runners who compete.”  Overall Berk loves cross country despite the hours of practice in every weather condition. Coach Lancaster shared that many people on the team, amazingly enough, don’t like running; however, they love being a part of cross country with the camaraderie that goes with being a part of the team.