Story by: Audrey Kordek
For the average person, mountains will always seem like a struggle, the long hours will seem to always make you tired, and the distance being run may seem to drag on forever. This is not the case for a cross country runner.
The amount of work that is put into running cross country is inexpressible, but the Bridgewater men’s cross country team proved that hard work and dedication really do pay off. This past weekend, all five Bridgewater runners finished in the top 20, with the team taking third place at the Shenandoah Valley Invitational.
Bridgewater was ecstatic with a third place ranking, considering that their top three runners did not even participate. Luke Sohl was one runner who sat out. He says the reasoning behind this is because the race was a tempo for the freshmen to gain confidence.
“We had certain runners pace them through the race, so they could run at a decent time. Basically it went according to plan; it was almost like an extended workout that we ended up doing a lot better in than we expected, ” Sohl explained.
Sophomore, Nevins Heckman came in 13th and junior, Tim Miller finished 20th with a time of 22:15.10.
With the freshmen learning the ropes and the first race under their belts, Miller says that this year is going to be a hundred times better for the team.
“There was a lot of potential last year that didn’t get recognized, and now we have even greater potential. Just the way everyone is working harder and shooting for the goals that are intact, it’s going to be a good improvement,” said Miller.
Heckman and Sohl added that “we only lost one runner from the top seven, and we have a people coming back from injuries so that’s going to be better this year as well.”
Most people do not realize that cross country is not just running; there are multiple activities involved in developing an efficient body, including core workouts, rolling out, and swimming exercises. If you think that it is an easy sport, it’s not. Miller, Heckman, and Sohl all agree that running long distance at a good time does not come naturally. On average, they run between sixty to eighty miles a week and are on a very strict diet.
Miller explains, “Coach had a talk with us in preseason, we have to make sure we get the right amount of proteins, fruits and veggies.”
Heckman jokingly added, “Coach made a big point about not eating bagels before bedtime!”
Sohl also commented, “You want to stay away from soda and desserts as much as you can.”
According to these athletes, if you do all the little things the sport requires, you will succeed. Then, when that horn blows and the race begins, they can enjoy all the surrounding scenery and jam out to the songs that pop up in their heads.Tweet