Cross Country Season Review
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The Mercy cross country team ended their season on a high note, placing 16th overall, at the championship meet held on Stevenson University’s Greenspring Campus on Tuesday, October 27th.
The entire team was given the opportunity to participate in the varsity race this year, a chance that in past years had only been granted to seven runners selected by the coach. Senior Grace King distinguished herself by placing the highest out of all her teammates, but seniors Kelsey O’Haire and Camille Hanna-Leverett, juniors Catherine Zuzarte, Grace Rapazzo, Morgan Blanchard and Brianna Romagnano, sophomores Lauren Berish, Emily Schneider, Kyra Smith, Kristin Curry and Kaia Edwards, plus the team’s only freshman member, Maggie Burnham, all played a part in the excellent placement of the team overall.
When asked about his first season coaching cross country at Mercy, coach Eric Estrada praised his team, saying that all girls broke their personal records this year. When asked the same question, the girls on the team were no less enthusiastic about their new coach, saying that he was laid-back, friendly, and made practice fun, but still had them work hard.
Seniors Grace King and Kelsey O’Haire both expressed a desire to continue running cross country in college. Kelsey commented that “[Cross Country] keeps you in shape [and] keeps team spirit.” Grace, who participated in cross country for the first time this year, agreed, saying that “we all support each other and come together as a team.” Similarly, juniors Grace Rapazzo and Brianna Romagnano are already looking forward to next year; they aim to run faster, beat personal records and place better in the coming season.
There were a few unusual aspects of the race this year.Typical cross country meets consist of one race, but the recent championships had two. Also, the course at Stevenson had no proper track, so runners traversed woods and fields all over the campus. To top it off, the event was suddenly moved from Wednesday to Tuesday, and Coach Estrada was only given a day’s notice. Luckily, these difficulties didn’t seem to faze the team, since most of the Mercy runners finished the race within thirty minutes.