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Girls cross country finishes season with Dual County League title

By Denebola
Published: October 2008

By Ellie Crowley

With a very successful start, the Newton South girls’ cross country team is raising high expectations for the season. Their DCL record is 5-1, only losing by two points to rival Lincoln-Sudbury, a loss captains see as an opportunity for improvement.

“We only lost by two points, so just switch any runner of ours with one of theirs and we would have won on the tie breaker, senior captain Kelsey Karys said. “We are also optimistic because last year L-S beat us by a lot more in the dual meet, and we came back and beat them in the Eastern Mass championship meet. This year, we want to do the same.

Senior captains Juliet Ryan-Davis, Hannah Yarmolinsky, and Karys are leading a talented group.

“We have five All Americans in track on the team, but even aside from that, all of the girls are really driven and focused during races and practices, and everyone is 100 percent dedicated to the team. It shows in everyone’s cheering, and even more in the really great meets that we’ve had so far, Yarmolinsky said.

A driving factor in the team’s accomplishments is strong support. “We work together really well, especially on the days of meets. There’s a real feeling that everyone can trust everyone else to take care of each other, Ryan-Davis said.

In an individual sport such as cross-country, team dynamic and support may seem to be unimportant, but in South’s case, it is vital to the team’s success.

“The team aspect of cross country is so important, even though everyone is running individually, Karys said. “Everyone must be aware of their role on the team because the top five people on a team score their place. So individually, a difference of second or third place might not mean much, but in a close meet it could mean the win or loss for the team. Also, cross country is a tough sport, and there’s no way you can make it through three miles without knowing you’ve got an entire team right there along with you.

Cross country teaches the team members about the importance of teamwork, even while pursuing individual goals. “Cross country has taught me the importance of friends and teammates, and what it really means to have each others’ backs. Races don’t always go just as you’d planned, but I’ve come to see that when you can trust your teammates. They’re always there to back you up. Even if things don’t go as planned, you can still have a good day, and find something in someone’s race to be really proud of, Karys said.

Strong bonds within the team serve as motivation through difficult workouts, and camaraderie on the course helps push past fatigue.

“Its really important that everyone trusts each other in cross country because the races are scored based on the sum of the points that each runner scores, so if you feel like your teammates are going to pull through on the day of a race, you’ll work harder to do your part, Ryan-Davis said.

The girls’ short-term plans include improving personal performance and the team collaboration. “This year with so much talent, we are really working on coming together as a team to be able to achieve our goals, Karys said.

The great potential, as well as individual talent and team strength, creates an exciting dynamic for the team this year, and the season promises to be one of many successes.

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