The Student News Site of Archbishop Mitty High School

The Monarch

The Student News Site of Archbishop Mitty High School

The Monarch

The Student News Site of Archbishop Mitty High School

The Monarch

Cross Country: Perseverance and Discipline

A strong mentality is essential in enduring the physical aspects of Cross Country.
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Cross Country is one of the more grueling and difficult sports out there, demanding physical prowess and, most importantly, the mental prowess to withstand the painful nature of the sport. On the Mitty Cross Country team, athletes are able to find freedom in their individuality while still fostering a strong sense of community within the team. They are not confined to any boundaries in the open world of running; instead, the exhilarating freedom experienced through the solitude of the run drives each of them to push themselves past their limits.

The Cross Country team has gotten off to a great start with the Women’s Varsity team, led by Junior Evie Marheineke, recently placing 2nd out of 19 schools in the 2023 Ed Sias Invitational, and the Men’s Varsity team, led by Senior Liam Saxton, placing 8th. However, these impressive results did not magically appear out of thin air. As many of the athletes would attest, achieving such results requires enduring pain and persevering through what often feels like an endless cycle of rigorous and intensive practices.

Sophomore Arlen Keck, an experienced long distance runner, shares a similar perspective, stating, “The most dangerous person to compete against is someone who’s willing to accept that this race is going to be painful.” He also adds, “Cross country is 90% mental, 10% physical.” In a world where mere seconds can impact the outcome of a race, it is the mentality of the athletes that sets them apart from the rest. Runners push themselves to the edge of their limits in each race, constantly remaining at war with the natural urge of their body to slow down.

I define a successful athlete as one who sets a goal and strives to achieve it, enduring the short, long, or uncertain journey of its pursuit. It is about character, which is connected to integrity: consistently modeling self-awareness, a teachable spirit, respect, and reliability. Integrity influences all areas of life, whether at home, school, work, or in athletics; it is about action—giving one’s best effort in everything, and seeing value in both large and small responsibilities.”

— Coach Grubb

Amid these personal struggles, it’s essential to recognize and appreciate the coaches who constantly support their runners on and off the course. Coach Grubb, an accomplished athlete himself with numerous marathons under his belt, understands the many aspirations of his athletes and continuously works to create a healthy environment where they can thrive. Nonetheless, he echoes a very important perspective, highlighting the essence of success in athletics and life as a whole: “I define a successful athlete as one who sets a goal and strives to achieve it, enduring the short, long, or uncertain journey of its pursuit. It is about character, which is connected to integrity: consistently modeling self-awareness, a teachable spirit, respect, and reliability. Integrity influences all areas of life, whether at home, school, work, or in athletics; it is about action—giving one’s best effort in everything, and seeing value in both large and small responsibilities.” Coach Grubb’s unique and effective coaching philosophy has had a transformative impact on the athletes under his guidance. Sophomore Grace Wang states, “The coaches have really contributed to the athlete I am today, they have helped shape my determined and resilient mindset.”

Cross Country is a discipline dependent on a multitude of factors, factors that can ultimately shift the course and outcome of a race. In the unpredictable world of cross country, no win is ever guaranteed. However, one constant emerges in the chaos and uncertainties: character development. While race outcomes may fluctuate, the lasting impact on an athlete is invaluable, shaping them into individuals who are not only accomplished on the race course but also in life.

 

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