From: Sally McCarthy
I found the following on a website somewhere and saved it a few years ago. Not sure then what I would do with it, but now I know. I would like to put this article in as a Thank You to the ALAH Knights Cross Country teams for giving their fans the opportunity to watch them compete throughout this unusual season. They have given of their time and efforts to put together an amazing year, not just as athletes but also as role models to younger kids out there that someday want to be a Knight! I would especially like to thank the girls, Mackenzi Bowles, Mackenzie Brown, Sarah Rafferty, Charley Condill, and Alisha Frederick, who went out because they were missing competition in their usual fall sport. They joined last year’s only girl, Emma Edwards, to form the first girls’ team in school history. They found a new way to channel their competitive nature and maybe learned a little about a whole new sport. I would also like to thank the boys, Layton Hall, Jace Green, Jacob Duzan, Reggie Edmunds, Jacob and Lyle Adcock, Logan Beckmier, Connor Edmunds and Jesus Corona for their exciting races and in team competitiveness. I would also like to thank Coach Lyle Dorjahn for his wonderful articles about the teams, his enthusiasm, and his never ending encouragement for his kids!
There is one more meet in the official schedule for the boys next Saturday at Hickory Point Golf Course. Maybe this article will make you want to see just what this sport called cross is all about! Not sure times are set for the races but check out the ALAH Knights cross country facebook page and you might find details there. If not, it should be on the IHSA webpage.
The picture that I included with this story shows one of the best parts of Cross Country, that the athletes and their coach can have a little bit of fun also! Everyone leans in for the finish line!!!
Cross Country is….
Cross Country is not simply about the race. Cross Country is all about what you do to prepare for the race.
Cross Country is your alarm clock rudely reminding you on a humid July morning that your competition is not sleeping in.
Cross Country is a team sport that requires incredible individual efforts.
Cross Country is scored backward but everything else about the sport revolves around moving forward as quickly as possible.
Cross Country is a tightly-knit family of runners who are bound by sweat, tears and cheers. A brotherhood and sisterhood like no other.
Cross Country is the never-ending pursuit of a PR or a PB and a delicious PB&J.
Cross Country is not the most popular sport in school. It is simply the best sport in school.
Cross Country is Steve Prefontaine’s words on the back of a kid’s t-shirt 100 years from now because Pre was that special.
Cross Country is that bugger of a hill on your route that you would love to skip but don’t because you know how much you will need it come November.
Cross Country is kids who are thought to be some of the smartest students in class — until you sit next to them on a three-hour bus ride.
Cross Country is track without all the hoopla. All you need is shoes, shorts and heart.
Cross Country is a pristine dew-covered field at dawn awaiting the onslaught of wet spikes unleashed by the echo of the starter’s gun, as the hoard of runners sprint from the start, into a wedge, and then form a serpentine parade.
Cross Country is the entire varsity team going bonkers as the slowest kid on the JV team stumbles through the finish line to record a new PR.
Cross Country is lying awake in bed the night before a big race because your mind refuses to obey your legs’ pleas for sleep.
Cross Country is a fresh start with each dawn, knowing that daybreak brings the chance for you to be better and faster.
Cross Country is working out twice a day because we know the pain while we train is far less than the pain of what we might fail to gain.
Cross Country is not a religion but many have come to know a greater power through the agony of the long distance training run.
Cross Country is a herd of teammates attaining perfect stride cadence as they sprint toward coach’s pick-up truck as another practice comes to a satisfying close.
Cross Country is a starting line of chaotic colorful singlets stretching from the giant oak tree to the scattered shards of the sunrise.
Cross Country is a group pasta dinner at one of your teammate’s homes the night before you hope to keep your legs from turning into spaghetti.
Cross Country is learning that hills can be your friend, albeit the kind of friend you would like to see move to North Dakota.
Cross Country is a tiny starting box that appears not nearly large enough to hold seven runners but proves to be more than enough space once chins point up and the gun is raised.
Cross Country is that crushing and disappointing race that comes out of nowhere, just when you thought everything was finally falling into place.
Cross Country is a bond between runners from opposing teams that is frayed during the heat of the race but melts into lasting friendships on the medal stand.
Cross Country is your parents, grandparents and family seated in folding chairs in the middle of a pasture just to watch you run by once or twice in your underwear.
Cross Country is hard work, the kind of hard work that builds strong muscles, stronger minds – and hilarious characters.
Cross Country is the incredible satisfaction one gets from doing the work necessary to improve.
Cross Country is running side-by-side with an opponent and hoping they are just as exhausted as you, but never allowing them to know you have no idea if you can hold this pace.
Cross Country is odd in that there is no scoreboard updating the race as it unfolds. There is just hope and panic and lots of whispering as the results are slowly tallied.
Cross Country is trying to squash your exploding pride over your just-completed PR race while your best friend pouts about their latest injury.
Cross Country is growing up one stride at a time.
Cross Country is about losing – a lot, and coming back the next race determined to lose by less.
Cross Country is coming in as a freshman intimidated by the strange terms, tights and times and leaving as a senior in love with it all.
Cross Country is demanding and allows for no excuses. It requires the greatest of one’s self in terms of discipline, commitment and effort.
Cross Country is real and true. It will test, reveal and develop character like no other sport.
Cross Country is not for all, rather it is for all who are unafraid to try. It is all the above and SO MUCH MORE!
-Author Unknown (at least unknown to me)