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Sports Spotlight: Girls Cross-Country

By Denebola
Published: September 2007

By Laura Glick

With numerous opponents among the top teams in the nation, dedicated girls cross-country captains Sonya Freeman, Nina Slote, and Hannah Westbrook look at the challenging season ahead. Following a tradition of success, this year’s runner’s hope that they can build on past successes.

Steven McChesney and Matt Capstick continue to be regarded highly by their enthusiastic athletes. “Besides from being experienced and inspirational, both coaches are hilarious and caring,” Freeman said.

McChesney has been able to coach h is team because of his experience as a successful runner and the dedication that he has to the success of his team. “Both of the coaches have the passion and dedication to the sport which is always important to pump us up before races,” Freeman added.

The team has started off well, winning their first two Dual County League (DCL) meets and two meets, and they prevailed over their opponents at the Amherst Invitaitonal on September 14 .

At Amherst, “the varsity girls won and the Varsity boys took third, making [Newton South] the best co-ed team in the invitational,” Freeman said enthusiastically.

The players are convinced that the captains can manage the team both on and off the field as well. “They are always really focused and dedicated but they still manage to make the sport fun. In addition, they are extremely talented,” Junior and team member Hannah Yarmolinsky said.

The captains have motivated the freshman and made them feel very comfortable. “I was a little worried at first and I didn’t know what to expect, but the captains were really nice and I’m exited for this season,” freshman Samantha Kropp said.

The captains have a lot of experie nce working together since they have been on the same team since sixth grade. “Hannah, Sonya, and I have been running cross-country for over six years now. We had a great coach at Brown Middle School who created a fun environment and inspired us to pursue running in high school,” Slote said.

The three captains are exited about thei r new roles as captain. “Leading such a talented team is a big responsibility and a fabulous opportunity,” Freeman remarked. “The previous captains have been huge role models for me so I can’t wait to have a lasting impact, ” Slote added.

Since there are not too many upperclassmen on the team this year, the captains have had to take on more of a teaching role in order to continue to build the team for the future. “We have a lot of incoming talent and I can’t wait to see how some of the new runners develop”, Slote said.

S ince the beginning of the season, the team has had its eye set on winning the All-State title this season. “If we continue to work extremely hard and stay focused, I think that we definitely have a chance to win it all. I think that winning the All-States is the ultimate goal,” junior and team member Juliet Ryan-Davis said.

Freeman knows how important it is to have goals for the year before it starts. “Well-defined goals give a purpose to all of our hard work in practices and races. Good attitudes and solid efforts always lead to improvement as well,” she said.

Although the team’s chemistry is different this year because of the large number of incoming freshman, the captains and runners remain positive. The team has gotten off to a remarkable start, but the team continually improves. “We have already achieved a lot during our first three meets, but we have only scratched the surface of our capabilities”, Freeman said.

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