It’s no secret that running is difficult. And it’s been said that people bond when facing a difficulty together.
The Kennedy Women’s Cross Country team competed at Linn-Mar’s invitational on Sept. 2, coming in 3rd place behind Dubuque Hempstead and Linn-Mar. Senior Hannah Fusselman came in 10th, and many other girls placed.
Overall the group did very well, something attributed to the closeness of the team.
“The cross country team is probably the tightest group of girls you could find,” Olivia Hamblin, so., said. “After dying together during so many workouts it’s pretty much impossible not to form a bond.”
More than just close friends, the team supplies each other with encouragement and motivation to push themselves even further. This encouragement even goes beyond running, into hobbies and academics the support continues.
Each girl is involved in other activities that make this commitment an even bigger deal. Whether it’s a heavy course load full of AP classes, a job, or even another sport, they continue to go to practice. If not for themselves, then for the team.
Sophomore Annabelle Hallam is participating in cross country for the first time at Kennedy this year. No matter what kind of a day she is having, she can always count on her team to help her make it through practice.
“It’s a rare occurrence to pass someone or be passed during a run, without hearing something along the lines of ‘Good job!’. Sometimes that extra boost is what helps you finish strong,” Hallam said.
This kind of support extends past the team too.
“I’m always impressed when I hear teammates say an encouraging line to a random runner from another team, telling them that they’ve got this,” Hallam said.
The effects of this bond don’t just end when their high school career does, it continues even into college. College freshman Kristin Sheyko participated in cross country for three years while attending Kennedy. One of the main reasons she enjoyed cross country at Kennedy was because of the team.
“The girls on the team were always extremely supportive and gave me the drive to better,” Sheyko said.
When Sheyko first joined the team, she was one of the slowest girls. Now she is part of the Women’s Cross Country team at the University of Wisconsin Platteville.
“From the beginning, everyone on the team treated me like I belonged,” Sheyko said.