The Ridge Review

The Student News Site of Mountain Ridge High School | Glendale, Arizona

The Student News Site of Mountain Ridge High School | Glendale, Arizona

The Ridge Review

The Student News Site of Mountain Ridge High School | Glendale, Arizona

The Ridge Review

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Ridge Varsity Cross Country Brings the Heat at Nike Twilight Races

Photo by Chandler R on Unsplash

On Friday, Sept. 29, the Mountain Ridge boys and girls cross country teams participated in the Nike Twilight races, continuing their streak of strong showings to kick off the season. Racing for 5 kilometers each, the varsity girls’ team placed 2nd out of 21 teams while the boys’ team participated in the Sweepstakes race, the fastest-paced event at the meet, where they placed 19th out of 30 teams.

Cross country has prepared for the season with rigorous practice, including early-morning, high-mileage runs, resistance training, calisthenics, and more. varsity boys runner Jake Olson asserts, “We have to be at practice at 5 every morning and run up to 9 miles on long days and 6 miles on easy days, depending on what group you’re in.” Varsity girls runner Sydney McCracken adds, “Our coaches put in a lot of time and effort to plan our practices and runs which helps us so much.” The cross country team will continue to train relentlessly, striving to run faster and harder every day. Every inch during practice serves to push them closer to victory on race day.

The cross country team does not push themselves to the limits purely for the sport. Many enjoy the wind in their hair, feet pounding the pavement, and the endorphin rush after a long, challenging run. McCracken explains, “While racing I like to think about how good I’m gonna feel after! I run to feel better and think about how much it will help me in the future.” This fondness for the activity fuels their consistency in both practice and performance. Varsity boys team member Owen Dockter tells of what crosses his mind as he pushes himself, striving for a finish line miles away when his legs begin to tremble and his lungs begin to strain: “While racing I usually think of my team and how I need to fight for them in the moment. I know that there’s going to be pain during the race but I have to push through to help my team place.”

In spite of what many may consider a profoundly impressive performance, the boys do not appear to share that sentiment. Dockter recounts, “Nike Twilight went alright. Our team had lots of official PRs but I know a lot of us were disappointed in our times since we know we could have gone way faster. I know personally I did not have a good race and my time definitely showed that.” Olson weighed in more generously, saying “I think it went really well.”

McCracken, as a freshman, has been briefly acquainted with the world of Cross Country, and she already sees incredible potential in the girls’ team. “I am a freshman and this season is my first but it’s so much better than I imagined. The team has done so good at meets and we just keep getting better and better at each meet”, McCracken says. “Last year they won districts, which we can definitely win this year too.”

Likewise, although Dockter believes the team’s work at Nike Twilight was underwhelming, he remains hopeful for the future of the team. “Even though some of us weren’t where we wanted to be, I know this coming weekend we are going to have lots of PRs again and hopefully place high.”, Dockter states. “We all have a new fire lit in us now and it’s redemption time for Ridge.”

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