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Cross Country Goes the Distance

Running sounds like a punishment for most athletes, but a selective few embrace and serve this sentence with pleasure and relative ease. These athletes are none other than the Pace Academy cross country team, led by senior captains Jakob Gorgens and Ryan Berry for the boys and seniors Jessica DiOrio and Emily Wilson for the girls. The cross country team has had four meets so far, and are showing signs of being one of the top teams in the state. Along with Jakob and Jessica, the team is statistically led by sophomores Josh Rogers and Callie Cunningham.

The team is defined this year by an influx of new faces who are either totally new to the team or new to being top dog (or fastest dog) on the team. The varsity girls’ leader board has been heavily influenced by freshmen and sophomores. Three out of the top four runners so far have been sophomores Callie Cunningham and Sydney Benator, and freshman Hannah Kelly. All three have PR’d (beat a personal record) this year.

The varsity boys team is led by four-year cross country veteran Josh Rogers, who selflessly said, “My favorite moment was after the last race [Warpath Invitational] when I heard that our top seven runners all went under twenty minutes in a 5K.” The boys team has three new senior runners who have sprinted into the top ten: Ricardo Goellnicht, Alex Stephens, and Josh Williams. Ricardo joined the team in order “to gain respect in the world of running and to prove to people that a soccer player could do it,” while Alex joined the team simply because he enjoys running and “having time for my thoughts.”

The new faces and inter-squad competitors could have evoked harsh sentiment from the rest of the team, but Jessica said that “the team bonding has extended to the new faces and has been my favorite part of the season.”

By Andrew Harton, Staff Writer ’12


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