High School Cross Country, Middle School Cross Country · Cross Country Reflections on the Season


On Saturday November 2nd, Great Hearts Northern Oaks Cross Country teams competed in the annual State tournament. Girl’s Varsity and Boy’s Middle School Premier teams took 1st place overall and Boy’s Varsity took 3rd place. Ava Berios, Norah White, Caite Rountree and Amaranta Lajoie (from Griffin Sports Network) sat down and interviewed several runners who placed in the top 10 for their division. Here is what they discussed:

Q: Overall, how was the season? What are your thoughts on it?
India Warren: It was very good! We got first place at state as a team, and all three of us placed in the top ten.
Savannah Pawl: I love how much we all bonded over the season. Whether it was running or having fun at the meets, our team really came together.
Q: How have y’all improved throughout the season? Are you proud of what you have accomplished?
Alexandria Alcott: I guess for all of us we’ve gotten faster but more importantly we’ve gotten stronger mentally. Our team’s encouragement enabled us to better prepare mentally and that allowed us to push through and keep running.
Savannah Pawl: Yeah I definitely agree with that. We all grew so much mentally this year. What people don’t realize is that running is just as much if not more a mental game than a physical one. It’s easy to train physically by going on runs but it’s very challenging to overcome those mental barriers which could keep you from running your best race. That’s why I’m so proud of our team because we all grew mentally as well as physically and it showed at the state meet.
Q: What were your placements and times?
Savannah Pawl: I placed 8th in the two mile race with a time of 12 minutes 34 seconds.
India Warren: I placed 6th in the two mile race with a time of 12 minutes 30 seconds.
Alexandria Alcott: I placed 2nd in the two mile race with a time of 12 minutes.
Q: What does it feel like to cross the finish line after such a difficult race?
India Warren: You don’t really think anything. You just feel all of your sensations fading away and sometimes even your vision going dark.
Savannah Pawl: Especially at the state meet, just the feeling of accomplishment in crossing the finish line. Knowing that you’ve done it, it’s over, and you can be proud of yourself.
Q: What do you think allowed you to push through to your placements?
India Warren: When I think of people cheering me on, it gives me that extra mental edge.
Alexandria Alcott: Yeah when people are cheering me on, it just spurs me to run for them and not just myself.
Savannah Pawl: I agree and also just knowing how badly our team wanted to place so that when I started to give up and feel like I didn’t have the strength, I could remember that I was running for my team which enabled me to push through for them.
Q: If you could go back in the season, is there anything you would have done differently?
Savannah Pawl: I would have more team bonding. If we were more unified at the beginning of the season, I think it would have helped us.
Q: Last question, what was the highlight of the season?
Alexandria Alcott and India Warren: Winning state!!
Savannah Pawl: Definitely winning state and realizing that all of our hard work had come to fruition.

We (Ava Berios and Norah White) interviewed Isai Moran and Benjamin Alcott, who placed 2nd and 3rd in the state meet. When asked about preparation for the state meet, they both said that they hydrated and slept more. In relation to mental preparation, Isai focused on the fact that he wasn’t running alone and that he had his team behind him. Benjamin focused on working his hardest and running his best race. In regards to their team win on Saturday, Benjamin said that he expected the win because they had won consistently at other meets, whereas Isai said that he was more hesitant and expected a 2nd or 3rd place. On a more general and philosophical note, we asked them which one they valued more (especially in relation to cross country): heart or skill. They both agreed that while skill is necessary, heart is more important because it is needed to get better and improve their skills, otherwise they wouldn’t get better. 

Thank you Griffins for a great season!