Imagine running quickly through a trail, sweat in your eyes, dodging branches and leaping over trenches, or on a winter morning, wearing only shorts and a t-shirt, your hands are numb, your feet are wet, you’re pumping your arms trying to keep your body warm. These are the conditions that the Uniontown Cross country team craves; the kind of conditions that most sports would consider “unplayable conditions”. Though they often go unnoticed, a cross country team is actually one of the strongest teams out there. Their sport is what most would consider a punishment.
Cross country is a sport that challenges the mind and body. It pushes both to the very limit. But what is cross country? How is it a sport? Don’t people just run? Well, yes and no. Cross Country is running. A meet is composed of two teams competing against each other on a 5K course. Usually the teams are divided by gender, and start the race at separate times. Both teams are competing for places; each place is also considered your score. Like golf, the lower score wins. At the end of a race, the places are all added together, so a team who got first, second, and third, would have six points. So the more people a team has finishing in the front, the lower their score will be.
The most important part of any sports team is the coach. They can create the atmosphere of a season by what is said and what is done. And for the Uniontown Cross Country team, they happen to have one of the most knowledgeable coaches that there is in its division. Joe Everhart, who also coaches parts of the Track & Field team, has been coaching for years, and coaching well. He has lead the Cross Country team to victory many times, and hopes to this year as well.
This years captains are Rachel Diamond, Paige Tibbe, Julie Friend, Bennet Clark, and Colby Kern. Captains are the authority below the coach. They support the team throughout the season, give advice, and help others in any way they can.
Though there are only a couple meets left this season before championships, don’t think you missed your chance to see the team. Come support your fellow Raiders by cheering them on at our home course, Penn State Fayette. The team runs against our school rivals Laurel Highlands, and Connellsville on Monday, October 8th.
Learn more about the team at their website.