Middle School Cross Country

Matt Pasko, Staff Writer

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People often think of Cross Country as a fill-in sport for athletes who don’t or can’t play soccer or football in the fall. As a member of the 2018 Middle School Cross Country team, I can confirm that this is far from the truth. The team had a great season, both in scores and athletic development. Mr. Theroux coached seventh graders Logan Brooks, Arthav Naidu, and Jack Gibbons, as well as eighth graders Daniel Bury, Matt Pasko (the writer), Davis Perry, Paul Brady, and Vincent Di Domenico.

One of the many fun parts of running cross country is that the runners have the opportunity to travel for meets and practices in many different places. For our practices, we ran to Lewis Morris Park, Jockey Hollow, up to Ryan Field, and many more locations on and around the campus. Our practices consisted of all sorts of different types of runs, such as sprints at the track, long runs in Jockey Hollow, or medium-distance “out and backs” before meets.

Even in bad weather, the team practiced. One day, we ran up the hill to Ryan field in the pouring rain and did sprints on the field. It was a challenging afternoon. For our meets, we raced against schools such as Mount Olive, Mountain Lakes, Dover, Pingry, MKA, Kinnelon, Frelinghuysen, and Oratory. Each meet was between 1.5 and 2 miles, but difficulty varied based on the terrain. For example, our home course is the shortest one — only 1.5 miles —  but it is one of the hilliest and among the most challenging courses we use. In one meet against Dover, Vincent, Paul, Davis, and I got first, second, third, and fourth: one place away from a clean sweep. In our last meet, the Halloween-themed Pumpkin Run, Delbarton finished fifth out of 12 schools.

This season was a great accomplishment because although we always had one of the smallest teams, with only seven runners (Logan was injured for the duration of the season), we were still a formidable opponent for the other schools. Cross Country is one of the most mentally challenging sports. Any athlete can run, but it takes determination and focus to be able to push yourself, pace yourself, and focus on the race. Like all sports, you get out of it what you put in. The 2018 MS Cross Country team definitely put in their effort, both at practice and on their own, and they had a great season to show and had a lot of fun doing it.

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Middle School Cross Country